Share this article

print logo

Very good jazz from Kyle Eastwood and Rudresh Mahanthappa


Kyle Eastwood, "In Transit" (Jazz Village).

Here's a blindfold test for the ages: Play this for any jazz super-literate and they'll guess -- solely on the basis of recording quality -- that it might be 21st century music. But they also would possibly guess because of the playing and the tunes that it's either great post-Silver '60s mainstream bebop or early '80's Marsalis neo-classicism.

What it all means is this: It was official years ago that Clint Eastwood's bass-playing son Kyle has turned into a dynamite meat-and-potatoes jazz leader and musician. His European band is first-rate -- Brandon Allen on tenor, Quentin Collins on trumpet, Andrew McCormack on piano, and Chris Higginbottom on drums. With Stefano DiBattista guesting on alto saxophone this is a disc overflowing with superior playing by one and all.

Just wait until you hear Basie's "Blues in Hoss' Flat" and, yes, Mingus' "Boogie Stop Shuffle, not to mention Eastwood playing Ennio Morrircone's "Love Theme from 'Cinema Paradiso.'"

Hate to say it, but all of Marsalis' records should always sound this good.

3 1/2 stars (out of four)

Rudresh Mahanthappa's Indo-Pak Coalition, "Agrima" (Self-produced, available only on vinyl and online frp,

The Indo-American also saxophonist and fellow marvel of Rochester's Vijay Iyer is as brilliant and formidable a player as anyone in jazz at the moment. His Indo-Pak group with guitarist Rez Abbassi and drummer/percussionist Dan Weiss proves how very much ethnic fusion has provided the major source of vitality in current jazz, whether it's the marriage of jazz with Indian or Pakistani or Middle-Eastern music or those wondrous players from Israel who've settled to make jazz in Brooklyn the most virulent of the past decade.

The excitement here is large and wildly contagious.

3 1/2 stars (out of four)


There are no comments - be the first to comment