Timepieces is Kyle Eastwood’s musical self-portrait: centred around the musician’s passion for the lyrical hard bop jazz of the late 50s and early 60s, the album also touches on Eastwood’s compositions for the big screen with his father, Clint.
Full of melodic elegance and a sustained sense of groove, this album is right at the heart of a modern, contemporary jazz songbook.
Timepieces runs the gamut of Eastwood’s influences to date – there are two covers of great jazz standards (Dolphin Dance by Herbie Hancock and Blowin ‘The Blues Away by Horace Silver) alongside a series of original compositions paying homage to the past whilst also connecting with the spirit of our time (Prosecco Smile has a typical boogaloo groove, Incantation is a nod to the lyricism of Wayne Shorter, Peace of Silver is dedicated to the memory of Horace Silver who died during the session) and, for the first time, Eastwood’s work for the silver screen is incorporated into the repertoire, a theme taken from his score for Letters From Iwo Jima, here reinterpreted as a beautiful piano/bass duet.
What he wanted to do in this record is to pay a debt to the jazz from the late 50s and early 60s, as in lyrical hard bop, full of groove and sophisticated harmonies played by Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers when Lee Morgan and Wayne Shorter were part of it, Horace Silver’s bands on Blue Note or Miles Davis’ various quintets.
What was amazing at the time was how all these groups had an immediately recognizable signature. Eastwood searches for where this singularity came from and concludes that it is primarily down to years of collaboration.
Timepieces also sees Eastwood make a few changes to the personnel in his quintet: long-time collaborators Andrew McCormack (piano) and Quentin Collins (trumpet, flugelhorn) remain, whilst saxophonist Brandon Allen and Cuban-born, London-based drummer Ernesto Simpson come into the fold.
The repertoire has been designed and really worked on collectively. The association that Eastwood forms with pianist Andrew McCormack and trumpeter Quentin Collins dates almost ten years.
While their alliance is the heart of this quintet, which now has a real homogeneity in sound, the new musicians add new colours to the palette. Brandon Allen on saxophones and Ernesto Simpson on drums, have undoubtedly enriched the music of this album by opening it to new horizons.