It comes as little surprise, then, that music was a prominent fixture in the Eastwood home. According to his biography with Hopper Management, Eastwood grew up listening to jazz records by legends such as Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Thelonious Monk, and the Stan Kenton Big Band with his parents, both jazz lovers. Eastwood attended the Monterey Jazz Festival numerous times with his parents, as well. "One advantage of having a famous father was I got to go backstage", Eastwood explained in an interview conducted by stepmother Dina Ruiz Eastwood. "I met a lot of artists, greats like Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughan. Looking back on that, I can see how much the musicians I met there influenced my career."
Eastwood began tinkering with the electric bass guitar in high school, learning R&B, Motown, and reggae tunes by ear. At the age of 18, Eastwood began jamming with friends for fun, ultimately deciding that music was what he wanted to do. After studying with French bassist Bunny Brunel, he began playing gigs around the New York and Los Angeles areas, eventually forming the Kyle Eastwood Quartet, who contributed to 1996's Eastwood After Hours: Live at Carnegie Hall, a concert saluting Clint Eastwood and his love of jazz. His father has always been supportive of, and interested in, his work, as Eastwood told The Independent: "As far as my father is concerned, as long as I was serious about my music career, he was supportive of me."
Two years later, in 1998, Sony released his first CD, From There to Here, a collection of both jazz standards and original compositions. After signing with the UK's Candid Records in 2004, Eastwood moved to Dave Koz's label, Rendezvous, which has released his last two albums: 2005's Paris Blue, and 2006's Now.
In addition to his solo albums, Eastwood has also contributed music to five of his father's films: The Rookie (1990), Mystic River (2002), Million Dollar Baby (2004), Flags of Our Fathers (2006), and Letters from Iwo Jima (2006).
While Eastwood has never denied that having a famous father has helped his career to a degree, he has said that he hopes that his accomplishments as a musician, composer, and arranger will stand on their own. "Being the son of someone that famous has its advantages and drawbacks", he told] The Independent. "I guess I try not to think about it really. First and foremost I think of him as my father, not the moviestar stuff. He's just my dad. I just do what I do and hope people judge my music on its own merits."
"Song for Ruth" on 2006's Now is dedicated to his grandmother, Ruth Eastwood.
His father, Clint Eastwood, makes a cameo on his 2005 release Paris Blue, whistling on the track "Big Noise (from Winnetka)."
|From There to Here||Sony||1998|
Jazz: Any Which Way You Can Kyle Eastwood Got a Good Start in Jazz - His Dad's an Aficionado of No Small Fame. but That's Where the Family Ties End. Eastwood Jr Really Can Play Bass
Apr 02, 1999; Having a famous father might ensure celebrity by proxy, but for a serious jazz musician it's not necessarily an advantage. When...