At last! A recording firmly planted in the jazz tradition of Charles Mingus, but updated and as fresh as this morning's brew. Bassist Kyle Eastwood has brought together a collection of (mostly) original compositions and mixed them with programmed or hip-hop rhythms underneath a mainstream horn section to create an accessible yet challenging listen.
On the original "Marrakech," Michael Stevens' keyboards and programming create an exotic Middle Eastern flavor that melds perfectly with the serpentine soprano sax and mourning duduk. "Solferino" creates a mood of haunting moonlight sonatas, featuring the dark and forboding tenor saxophone of Doug Webb. A Freddie Hubbard-like Jim Rotondi spits out bullets over a CTI-era keyboard backdrop on "Cosmo." Eastwood even digs up the Swing Era classic "Big Noise" with whistles and all, grooving it with a heavy beat that is a perfect counterbalance to the bop solos by Webb and trumpeter Lee Thornberg.
Paris Blue has something for everyone: creativity, deep grooves and excellent lead solos. Something new is rising from Eastwood.
Personnel: Kyle Eastwood: bass; Vinnie Colaiuta, Kendall Kay: drums; Jim Rotondi, Lee Thornberg:
trumpet; Michael Stevens: keyboards; Alan Pasqua, John Beasley: piano.