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He went from being Rowdy Yates on TV to the cinema's "Man With No Name and "Dirty Harry to winning an Academy Award for directing. Yet, all along the way, Clint Eastwood's passion for jazz has remained a constant. His jazz-related projects in the past include directing the Charlie Parker biopic Bird, and starring in Play Misty For Me. Eastwood's son Kyle is also involved in jazz. Kyle is a bassist, who has released several CDs as a leader. Therefore, it should not surprise anyone that the piano playing Clint Eastwood has released a CD.
The album titled Do You Feel Lucky? is a tribute to Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. It has four standards and four Eastwood originals. Eastwood's band consists of some of bebop's top players, including bassist Ron Carter, drummer Roy Haynes and saxophonist Frank Wess. Trumpeter Clark Terry also appears on three tracks.
Some of the highlights are Eastwood's blazing solo during the opening of "Fistful Of Ivory. It is clear Bud Powell influenced his style, and one also hears traces of Art Tatum. Although Eastwood is clearly not in the league of top jazz pianists he does not embarrass himself on this outing, and is wise enough to give this all-star lineup most of the solos. After several listens to the CD, you realize Eastwood does display a delicate lyricism and his comping ability is sublime.
On the original "My Mule Don't Understand Eastwood plays an odd-metered Monkish opening before Wess and Terry take over the proceedings. They tear the tune up, trading fours while Haynes and Carter keep pace.
Another original, the touching solo piano tune "Apeing Clyde" (dedicated to Clyde the Orangutan who co-starred with Eastwood in two films) closes out release.
Although not a desert island disc, this is a worthy first outing by Eastwood.
Track Listing: Ko Ko; Cherokee; Salt Peanuts; Fistful Of Ivory; My Mule Dont Understand; A Night In Tunesia; .44 Magnum Is A Man's Best Friend; Apeing Clyde.
Personnel: Clint Eastwood: piano; Roy Haynes: drums; Ron Carter: bass; Frank Wess: saxophone; Clark Terry: trumpet.
I love jazz because I enjoy the freedom.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was 17.
I met Cedar Walton at a concert in San Paulo.
The best show I ever attended was Helio Jambao trio.
The first jazz record I bought was Witchcraft by George Benson.
My advice to new listeners is listen to the old school first.