Kyle Eastwood

Now

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Continuing in the vein of 2005's Paris Blue, bassist Kyle Eastwood delivers more contemporary jazz with a funky twist on 2006's Now. Mixing acid jazz stylings, modal themes, and some hip-hop influences on his third solo album, Eastwood has crafted yet another Euro-R&B-jazz-dance-hop album that benefits from a solid group aesthetic and a pop craftsman's sense of melody. Interestingly, vocalist Ben Cullum -- brother of pianist/vocalist Jamie Cullum -- guests here on such funky R&B-inflected cuts as "I Can't Remember" and "Leave It." Similarly intriguing is Eastwood's cover of the Police classic "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" featuring vocals by keyboardist Michael Stevens. It's an expansive new age-meets-techno dance track that also makes room for late-'60s Impulse-style keyboard improvisation. While Now is by no means a straight-ahead jazz album and will most likely appeal to the broader smooth jazz audience, it is nonetheless a vibrant, genre-crossing experiment and once again displays Eastwood's deft knack for bringing together topnotch musicians with sophisticated club-ready material.

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