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Straight No Chaser - A Jazz Show

Straight No Chaser is the place for jazz lovers (and those who will soon be jazz lovers) to enjoy podcasts with their favorite music and artists. Winner of the 2017 JazzTimes Readers' Poll for Best Podcast, your host Jeffrey Siegel will take you inside the world of jazz, from the new releases to the best festiva;s to remembrances of jazz legends.

An Uneven "Metropolitan"

Aug 9, 2009

Listening to Kyle Eastwood's latest CD, Metropolitan, is like listenign to your iPod on shuffle - you're just not sure what's going to come up next. You're pretty sure it will be pretty good, since you put it there in the first place. But whether it will be loud, soft, fast, slow, modern, classic - well, you're not sure at all.

The title track is a slick piece of contemporary jazz with shimmering piano by Eric Legnini and wordless vocals by Camille. But if you're expecting that to be the norm, then you'd be mistaken. Guest trumpeter Till Bronner brings a nice ballad in "Bold Changes" and "Song for You" is also enjoyable, but "Hot Box" is a relatively listless Stanley Clarke-like workout and "Live for Life" is run of the mill jazz-funk. "Rue Perdue" tries for tension and atmosphere and fails.

What's missing here is any kind of cohesive sound, which is surprising given that for the rhythm section of Eastwood on bass, Legnini onpiano and organ and Franck Aguhon on drums is a constant. Perhaps its the guest appearances by Bronner or the vocals, but "Metropolitan" feels put uneven and missing a unifying sound and signature.

Click here to listen to "Song For You", my favorite track from the CD. A collaboration between Eastwood, guitarist Michael Stevens, pianist Andrew McCormack, electric pianist Legnini and Till Bronner on trumpet. A peaceful, lightly shifting composition, it possesses more of feeling and tension than most of the other tracks. One hopes that Eastwood will build his next album around his core band's considerable talents and create a solid listening experience.