On The View From Here, his sixth release as a leader, bassist Kyle Eastwood and his accomplished band take the listener on an excursion through a wide range of styles, rhythms and moods. Eastwood may be the bandleader, but The View From Here is very much an ensemble recording, with everyone getting ample opportunity to shine.
The album kicks off with the lively, sparkling Latin-jazz tune “From Rio to Havana.” Pianist Andrew McCormack drives the sprightly rhythm, with saxophonist Graeme Blevins and trumpeter Quentin Collins joining to establish the melody before improvising individually around it. Then the pace slows with the stately, slightly somber ballad “For M.E.,” Eastwood’s tribute to his mother that includes an agile electric bass solo.
“Luxor” opens with drummer Martyn Kaine’s delicate percussion and Eastwood’s subtle bass rhythm underpinning Collins’ plaintive melody, the track building slowly into a powerful full-band outing before subsiding once again. “Une Nuit au Sénégal” is a joyous, kick-up-your-heels African-inspired number, with Blevins and Collins trading off in high-spirited fashion and Eastwood delivering a fleet-fingered solo on electric bass.
Eastwood’s upright prowls beneath Blevins’ sax on “The Way Home,” and the bassist tips his hat to Jaco Pastorius on the trio number “Summer Gone.” The gorgeous ballad “The Promise” features the ensemble’s most lyrical playing communicated simply and quietly-a melody this beautiful does not need to shout to be heard. The album wraps up with “Route de la Buissonne,” a bouncy, funky tune that draws inspiration from New Orleans jazz.