Reviews of the week #2: Son of superstar releases disc full of smooth jazz jams

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    Kyle Eastwood’s third release entitled “Now,” scheduled to be released Oct. 10, seems to be the album that will put Eastwood’s name forward. While most people know of his father, Clint Eastwood, most have never heard the name of his son. And normally when one hears of a celebrity’s child, he or she assumes the worst.

    Sure, Eastwood has had numerous opportunities most other struggling musicians in the jazz world wouldn’t, such as working with Joni Mitchell on his first album. But after three albums and this one promising to be better than the other two, Eastwood has proven himself to be more than just a celebrity’s kid.

    “Now” is an album that creates a fusion sound that even the unlearned jazz fan can fully appreciate. It is blues-fusion employing great instrumental parts.

    The vocal performances provided by Ben Callum fit perfectly in the framework of the music. With tracks that vary between the country guitar parts in the title track “Now,” the dark bass movements in “September Nights,” the playful bounces of “Let’s Play” and the upbeat almost jazz-hop movements of the ending track “How Ya’ll Doin,” this album has something for everyone.

    Each track has its own distinct sound, including the gutsy, and well-done remix of The Police hit “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic,” but it all flows together extremely well due to a phenomenal production job by Michael Stevens.

    This is a perfect jazz album to put in the background while you are trying to do work. There is enough intensity within the fusion that it would never put the listener to sleep, yet it is smooth enough that it wouldn’t distract from other things.

    “Now” guides the listener perfectly from track to track and does so right around 45 minutes – which is another plus for the casual jazz listener as opposed to other fusion artists who take around eight minutes to develop each song.

    Rating: 9 out of 10

    A good buy for fans of: Marcus Miller, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.