Bassist Kyle Eastwood explores late-’50s and early ’60s hard bop on Time Pieces. Eastwood says that genre of jazz was a big influence on him, and he and his band-saxophonist Brandon Allen, trumpeter/flugelhornist Quentin Collins, pianist Andrew McCormack and drummer Ernesto Simpson-dig enthusiastically into its melodic, grooving style. Eastwood writes in the liner notes that Time Pieces represents “the sound and style I have been developing with my band for quite a few years now with our original compositions, as well as a return to my ‘jazz’ roots and influences,” and he and his bandmates take a collaborative, organic approach to both the compositions and the performances.
The tight frontline of Allen and Collins drives the upbeat “Caipirinha,” anchored by Eastwood’s funky groove, and the band swings joyfully through the irresistibly catchy “Prosecco Smile.”
Horace Silver seems to have loomed large in Eastwood’s development as a musician, and Time Pieces includes two salutes to the hard-bop icon. The band’s take on Silver’s “Blowin’ the Blues Away” matches the original’s speed and energy, and everybody in the band gets to display some impressively nimble chops. The cleverly titled “Peace of Silver” is led by McCormack, the tune’s co-composer (along with Collins) and features a strong melody and a percussive piano rhythm.
Eastwood considered Herbie Hancock another important influence, and Time Pieces includes a faithful reading of Hancock’s “Dolphin Dance,” with Collins reprising Freddie Hubbard’s lyrical trumpet lead.
Eastwood-son of actor/director Clint Eastwood-is also a successful movie composer, and he re-recorded his composition “Letters From Iwo Jima” from the 2006 film of the same name. Stripping away the original’s orchestral embellishments, Eastwood here performs the poignant ballad as a duet with McCormack, the track’s inclusion serving as a reminder of the breadth of Eastwood’s artistry.