Album Title Eastwood Symphonic
Release Date 1 September 2023
“… a frankly brilliant collection …in vivid symphonic jazz arrangements” BBC Music Magazine *****
“A refined and cohesive effort … tastefully crafted… concise, stylish arrangements … impressive solos” Jazzwise
“….scores sound superb in these reinventions”
‘Eastwood Symphonic’ is a loving musical story that speaks of the relationship between a son, jazz bassist and composer Kyle Eastwood, and his father, actor-director Clint Eastwood. What unites them above all is a mutual passion for music that has bound their relationship so closely over the years. For ‘Eastwood Symphonic,’ Kyle Eastwood presents a set dedicated exclusively to music from his father’s films.
A pianist and composer in his own right, Clint is also the director of the Charlie Parker biopic Bird and producer of documentaries on Thelonious Monk and Dave Brubeck. Kyle grew up in a house ﬁlled with jazz; attending the Monterey Jazz Festival with his parents where, he says, “I got to go backstage [and] met a lot of artists; greats like Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughan [who] inﬂuenced my career.”
Kyle has appeared in a few of his father’ s ﬁlms and has himself composed for film. His 2019 album, ‘Cinematic’ saw him visiting film scores which included themes from ‘The Pink Panther’, ‘Taxi Driver’ and ‘Skyfall’.
‘Eastwood Symphonic’ is Kyles’ 10th album for which he chooses to “revisit the films my father has starred in, or directed but with a jazz and classical feel”. Leading his long-term UK jazz quintet – Andrew McCormack, piano; Brandon Allen, saxophone; Quentin Collins, trumpet and Chris Higginbottom, drums – they join with the Grammy® Award-winning Czech National Symphony Orchestra. Recorded in Prague, it’s epic 12 titles are arranged and conducted by Grammy® Award winning trumpeter, composer Gast Waltzing. It’s a collaboration that captures both the grand spirit of cinema and the conversational nature of jazz.
Old scores have been reinvented for the occasion yet the tour de force here lies in this record’s spontaneous, evident talents for weaving in new colours that take listeners deep to their fond memories of Clint Eastwood’s films. “One of the main challenges” says waltzing “is that these songs are so well know and are so well made that it gets very tricky to … turn them into something else… We managed to give a personality to each and every song. You will recognize the original score, but the magic happens in the union of the jazz quintet and the symphonic orchestra and the balance between them”
Featured are famous themes from Clint Eastwood films including The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (Ennio Morricone), Dirty Harry (Lalo Schifrin) and The Eiger Sanction (John Williams), alongside pieces composed by Clint (Flags of Our Fathers, Changeling) and Kyle with writing partner Michael Stevens, (Le Mers from Iwo Jima, Gran Torino).
‘Eastwood Overture’ is the majestic opening track on the album and is the first single, out now. Unlike the other pieces on the album, it is a new musical montage orchestrated by Jean-Jacques Maillet that provides a flavour and melodies of each of the scores covered on the recording. The orchestra plays the leading role in an often-epic mode bringing to mind music by Wagner, at first soft, gradually reaching monumental dimensions.
Asked if it’s hard to work with your own father, Kyle says without hesitation, “Clint and I have always had a beautiful working relationship … We’re very happy to present ‘Eastwood Symphonic,’ a musical journey through my father’s most prestigious ﬁlms.”