These days, Kyle Eastwood is less and less known as the son of Clint Eastwood and more of a universally respected musician and leader in his own right. A virtuoso bassist on electric and upright, as well as a talented composer with a keen ear for great tunes and the subtleties of modern jazz, he is right at the forefront of the contemporary scene, having chosen to immerse himself in the music he loves. Dynamic and pulsing, full of swing, great rhythms and memorable melodies, Songs from the Chateau is Eastwood’s fourth U.S. effort on Rendezvous Music (licensed from Candid Records – one of the leading independent jazz labels in the UK).
When he is not on tour, Eastwood spends much of his time between Paris, where he has lived on and off for five years, and Los Angeles and is very much at home in France; Eastwood’s preceding release on Rendezvous, Metropolitain, was also recorded in France, so it was natural to look there for an ideal place where he and his musicians could relax for a few days and allow their creative juices to flow. Such a place turned out to be the fabulous 15th Century Couronneau in Ligueux, deep in classic Bordeaux country, and Songs from the Chateau was born. To capture the authentic sound of the all-star band Eastwood has on display, producer Crofton Orr and the engineering of Simone Griva were enlisted. Also on board was long time collaborator Michael Stevens (cowriter with Eastwood on the scores for films including “Changeling” and “Gran Torino”).
Although it was recorded in Bordeaux, most of the record was written on the road and at rehearsals while Eastwood and his band were on tour in the spring and summer of 2010. As the tour progressed, so did arrangements and concepts for the album. By the time they got to recording at Chateau Couronneau, the band was already very comfortable with the music and was free to let the beautiful setting inspire them.
Eastwood said in a news release, “The whole idea of the project was to have a little break after the tour was over and take our time and record in a very relaxed way. We went in and recorded the way we would usually play a gig and I think this album really captures the way this band plays and interacts musically in a live setting.”
There’s a simple explanation as to why this group meshes so well together. Eastwood has been carefully developing this band for years; the most recent addition to the group has already been with the band for four years. “Some of my favorite albums in jazz were made by musicians who stayed together and developed this kind of group feeling and that is something that has always been important to me,” he said.