“…Eastwood’s band at The Blue Note was tight, top-notch and obviously loving playing together. Eastwood’s playing is strong and supple, featuring a wide vibrato that almost makes him sound like he’s playing a fretless instrument at times—shades of David Sylvian and Japan…
Debra Devi: Can you tell me about the Gibson bass you designed?
Kyle Eastwood: It’s not really a Gibson per se, it was designed by Bunny Brunel and myself and a guy at the Gibson Custom shop made five or six prototypes, two of which I kept and customized some more myself. It’s still the bass I use – I shaped the neck so it’s skinnier under the higher strings and it’s just balanced ergonomically the way I like. I try a lot of other basses but never seem to find one I like quite as well…
Debra: How did you get into African influences?
Kyle Eastwood: I’ve been exposed to a lot of African music living in France and I did some research into South African music when I was writing music for the film Invictus. And living in France I’ve had the chance to travel a lot through North Africa. There are also a lot of Senegalese musicians in France – I haven’t been to Senegal but I’ve gotten to hear a lot of Senegalese music…
Debra: Any jazz influences that come to mind for this album?
Kyle Eastwood: I’m drawn to Charles Mingus and other jazz payers from the fifties and sixties. He’s a great role model for me as a bassist who was also a bandleader and composer. Art Blakely’s groups, too, from the late fifties, early sixties I’ve always liked that sound, and writing for a group with two horns, like mine. Without having to actually travel around with a big band! [laughs]
I grew up listening to sixties and seventies funk and really digging it. That’s the stuff that made me want to pick up the bass. I started teaching myself those songs…”
“…It was fitting that he should have kicked off his nationwide tour at Eastleigh’s Concorde Club.
…He demonstrated great technical prowess as he switched effortlessly from double to electric bass. Although very much the star, he modestly allows his musicians to showcase their array of talents. There were some superb solo contributions from Andrew McCormack (piano) Graeme Blevins (tenor saxophone) Quentin Collins (trumpet) and Chris Higginbottom (drums) And the Concorde audience were taken on a journey which has inspired Eastwood’s compositions, stopping off at Paris, Rio de Janeiro and Morocco.
…After two sets Kyle and his band were deservedly given a standing ovation”
“Kyle Eastwood , who will be appearing at the Lincoln Drill Hall with his band this Friday May 3, has his famous father to thank for introducing him to the world of jazz…
This band’s music is sharp, funky and very accessible taking sideways glances at rock and fusion and will appeal to a wide ‘cross-over’ audience of modern music fans, according to Lincoln’s NewJazz5. His band, which features predominantly British musicians, tours extensively in Europe and the US.”
With his sixth album in his 15 years as band leader, Kyle Eastwood shows once again that he deserves to be known first and foremost not as Clint’s son, but as one of the contemporary jazz scene’s most exciting creators. Eastwood grew up in Carmel, but now spends most of his time in France, where this new work was recorded. The bassist/composer, with his top-notch quintet, establishes strong grooves and arresting melodies. Playing both acoustic and electric bass, Eastwood’s subtle, elegant lines unobtrusively provide solid foundation for the group’s varied and compelling sounds
Just as it took me away, though, it made me thankful to be right here, in Eastern Iowa, where we are lucky enough to have the opportunity to see artists like Eastwood. I could stop the review here, with just one word: phenomenal.
…The night ended — after a song that Eastwood says he debuted at Jazz in Marciac, the most famous of France’s small, intimate jazz festivals — with a heartfelt standing ovation.
World Village has forged itself a reputation for excellence on the international musical scene in just a few short years. Seeking out talents from all around the world, carefully designed covers and booklets: these are the key values of the label, which is run by four producers working between France, the USA, Spain and the UK, who pursue an ambitious signing policy.
Jazz Village, the newest label in the Harmonia Mundi family, allows audiences to experience the best of current jazz music, from Europe to the Americas, from traditional to modern, through urban soul and new sound crossbreeds. On the menu: a dozen yearly releases featuring musical veterans, young idols and bright emerging talents.