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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

CD Review: Kyle Eastwood – Cinematic


Kyle Eastwood (bass); Andrew McCormack (piano); Quentin Collins (trumpet); Brandon Allen (tenor sax); Chris Higginbottom (drums) + Stefano di Batista  (saxes); Camille Bertault, Hugh Coltman (vocals).
(Review by Hugh C)

Kyle Eastwood (yes, cinematic relation) brings together his two great passions, cinema and music, with his new album Cinematic.  He performs with his regular bandmates and singers Camille Bertault and Hugh Coltman.  In this album both well-known and lesser known film scores are revisited and reinterpreted in a jazz style.

CD player loaded, remote cocked and ready, GO! The CD fires off with Bullitt.  Piano and trumpet open with a discordant blast, followed by a funky rendition of the familiar tune.  Short bass and drum solos punctuate the confident delivery by these capable musicians. A brief pause, the tyre smoke clears and Taxi Driver – Theme, follows on at a more leisurely pace.  Atmospheric   saxophony sets the scene followed by muted trumpet over a slow groove generated by the rhythm section.  

Les Moulins de Mon Coeur features chantoose (as they say over there) Camille Bertault with a smoky-voiced delivery of the iconic song.  The guys get a look in too, with saxophone and trumpet solos alternating with Bertault’s vocals and scat singing.  The Eiger Sanction is a high speed romp featuring piano, saxophone and trumpet driven at speed by the rhythm section.  Gran Torino, composed by father and son Eastwood, Michael Stevens and Jamie Cullum features Hugh Coltman on vocals. 

Pink Panther – Theme, beloved of amateur bands everywhere, is given a classy outing by the guys who give it their own twist.  Per le Antiche Scale  features expressive, melodic slow piano, bass and drums and at just over 3 minutes is the shortest track on the album.  Charade sets off with militaristic style drumming to be joined by saxophone and trumpet delivering the melody with chordal piano in the background. Trumpet, saxophone and bass solos follow, with subtle support from the rhythm section.  Unforgiven - Claudia’s Theme features guitar (not credited), but possibly Eastwood on upper registers of electric bass.  Collins delivers an atmospheric trumpet line over piano and bass, to finish with solo guitar.  

Skyfall brings the entire ensemble back together for a jazzy rendition of the theme - all the band members get a look in, with short solos from each in turn.  In the final minute Higginbottom is allowed to stretch out a bit on drums.  Gran Torino is a reprise without the vocals and to my mind probably the better version (not to diss the original of course!).  Eastwood takes the melody line on double bass, ably supported by unobtrusive piano and subtle brushwork on drums.  The melody is then taken by saxophone and brought to a conclusion by a saxophone and bass duet.

The potential problem with a release of this type is that it will fall between two stools, film music and jazz.  The Jazz Police will be all over this and will apprehend the “perp” for questioning.  A shame, because the musically open listener will find this a delight.  The musicianship is exemplary and the product is musically interesting, even though I did not recognise many of the tunes (I am no film buff).  The love that has been put into this project by Eastwood is palpable.

Cinematic is released on November 8 on Jazz Village and is available for pre-order from several online retailers.
Hugh C

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