Photo by George Zimzores
©2006 – Scott Kyle, All Rights Reserved
This is the set we played for my graduate recital last spring at San Diego State University. It includes a few of my
compositions, along with several modern classics by musicians who have particularly inspired me. The CD may not
be “east coast jazz” per se, but a few of the tunes definitely lean in that direction.
Being able to play this music is a real milestone for me. I could never improvise very well over chord changes like
these before studying at SDSU. I play by ear, and I didn’t know enough about modes and altered chords to make
sense of it.
For helping me with this, I want to thank SDSU professors Bill Yeager, Rick Helzer, and Richard Thompson. Bill is
director of jazz studies at SDSU. He let me into his program, even though I hadn’t played in almost twenty years and
I didn’t have an undergraduate music degree. Then he pushed me hard in his big band until I got my chops back,
like a coach helping an aging athlete make a comeback. Rick is SDSU’s resident genius of jazz harmony. I studied
theory, composition and improv with him for two years. It was completely mind expanding, changing the very way I
think about and hear music. And I also studied with Dr. Richard Thompson, who was like a muse, helping me get in
touch with my inner musical spirit.
This album is dedicated to all the great teachers I’ve had over the years, including those three, along with Chuck
Wackerman, Jim Nelson, Rollie Sandberg, Bill Watrous, John Prince, and Charlie Shoemake. I also want to thank
my band-mates and Peter Sprague. Everyone played beautifully that sunny afternoon down by the beach, making it
a day I’ll never forget.
Facing East, by Scott Kyle – 6:08
I wrote this for Rick’s composition class. Later he helped me simplify the changes,
and it turned out nice enough to become the title track.
The Sorcerer, by Herbie Hancock – 6:20
We are blessed to co-exist with certain people who illuminate humanity. Herbie is
high on that list…
Springtime, by Scott Kyle – 7:46
Part of this melody quotes from a tune I learned to sing in second grade. I think it
was called “all the birds sing up in the trees.”
Infant Eyes, by Wayne Shorter – 7:51
Rick really gets into Wayne Shorter, so we’ve studied a lot of his music. I love the
way this melody complements the range of the trombone.
Punjab, by Joe Henderson – 4:39
I heard this upbeat tune in Richard’s jazz history class for the first time last year
and knew instantly that I had to learn it.
Perspire, by Scott Kyle – 8:56
Aspire is a beautiful ballad by Kenny Wheeler. I changed the time signature and
tempo, and wrote this new head for it, which Justin helped arrange.
Since We Met, by Bill Evans – 6:48
To me, Since We Met epitomizes Bill Evans, with its long, circular form and seamless
time changes. Rick and Justin helped with the arrangement.
Moontrane, by Woody Shaw – 6:50
I’ve admired Woody Shaw since Live at the Village Vanguard came out in 1977, but I
never heard Moontrane until two years ago. It’s nice to be less ignorant these days…
Crystal Silence, by Chick Corea – 6:01
It seemed perfectly natural to re-arrange Chick’s classic ballad as a samba…
Inside Out, by Randy Brecker – 6:12
Barry Finnerty’s solo on the original recording is one of my favorites, and this
version features another of my favorites – Colin Kyle, my son, on guitar. It has other
personal significance as well. In the summer of 1979, my roommate wired an alarm
clock to his reel to reel tape deck. It woke us up every morning blasting, “East River, la
dee da” and Inside Out would come on about halfway through breakfast. I also want to
use this opportunity to wish Michael Brecker the best in dealing with MDS. He has
been a major musical inspiration to me.
Blue Daniel, by Frank Rosolino – 5:01
This surprising 14 bar tune is a beautiful gift from Frank. A final, bittersweet
Sunrise in San Diego - photo by SK
Facing East features trombonist Scott Kyle's own compositions and compositions by many of the great
contemporary jazz musicians who have influenced him most. This CD is Scott’s way of paying tribute to the East
Coast innovators who created post-bop modern jazz.
The quintet also includes Rick Helzer on piano, Tripp Sprague on soprano and tenor sax, Justin Grinnell on bass,
Duncan Moore on drums, and Colin Kyle on guitar. These are some of San Diego’s finest musicians. Everyone's
improvisations on this CD are inventive and musical, and hearing the low horn played so cleanly and creatively
over changes like this is truly an ear-opening experience.