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.
Scott Kyle has played with many top jazz performers, including Louie Bellson, Buddy Rich, Stan Kenton, Sammy Nestico, Clark Terry, George Duke, Bob Magnuson, Charles McPherson, Roger Kellaway, John Patatucci, Tom Kubis, Wayne Bergeron, Jay Anderson, and Eric Marienthal. Scott’s first CD as a leader, Full Circle, was a collection of standards, released in 2005, which is also available on CD Baby. It featured Christopher Hollyday on alto sax. Full Circle was acclaimed by critics and received extensive airplay on jazz stations around the country.
So why haven't you ever heard of this guy? Originally from Seal Beach, California, Scott began playing professionally in 1977. In those days, people still smoked in bars, and synthesizers were starting to displace studio musicians. Choosing a different lifestyle, Scott earned a BA in Economics from UCLA in 1981 and became a CPA in 1986. He moved to Page, Arizona, near Lake Powell, from 1984 to 2002, enjoying family life, mountain biking, hiking the canyons, skiing, wakeboarding, and working on the Navajo Indian reservation. In Arizona, Scott began to teach music at the high school and junior college level. Finally, in 2002, he relocated to San Diego, where he earned an MA in jazz studies at San Diego State University. Scott now teaches jazz at SDSU, surfs when he can, and plays regularly in and around San Diego.
Pianist Rick Helzer is the Associate Director of Jazz Studies at San Diego State University. He’s an awesome teacher and an awesome player. Rick has been featured as a soloist, composer and arranger on sixteen other albums, including his own most recent recordings, Face in the Mirror, and Fancy Meeting You Here, both released in November of 2004 on the 9Winds label. Rick is a regular contributor for Jazz Improv magazine, providing numerous solo transcriptions, annotations, record reviews and a regular column entitled Jazz Piano Perspectives.
Tripp Sprague is one of the top saxophonists on the San Diego music scene. He performs regularly with his brother, guitarist Peter Sprague, and he has recorded on numerous CDs with artists such as Kim Carnes, Todd Rundgren, and Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek. He co-produced and performed on the CD Blurring the Edges by the group of the same name, which won Best Pop-Jazz Album at the San Diego Music Awards. Tripp also runs his own recording studio, and he recently released his first CD as a leader, Wall to Wall, which is also available on CD Baby.
Bassist Justin Grinnell received his Master's Degree in Jazz Performance from San Diego State University in 2005. That summer he also participated in the Henry Mancini Institute's Summer Education Program, providing him the opportunity to work with one of Los Angeles' premiere session bassists, Nathan East, as well as Billy Childs, Peter Erskine, Dave Liebman, Christian McBride, Vince Mendoza, and Alan Pasqua. Justin is a tastefully inventive bass player who can lay it down solidly in any improvised musical situation, no matter how intricate the polyrhythms. He also played on Scott's first CD, Full Circle.
Duncan Moore is San Diego’s premier jazz drummer. He has played with a veritable who’s who of jazz musicians, including Art Pepper, Joe Ferrell, Conti Condoli, Ray Brown, Mark Murphy, Bud Shank, Ricki Lee Jones, Tom Scott, James Moody, and Frank Potenza, to name a very few. Duncan has recorded on numerous national jingles, and TV and movie soundtracks.
Facing East also features guitarist Colin Kyle on the tune Inside Out. Colin graduated from Torrey Pines High School last year and is currently studying engineering at UC Davis. His progressive rock band, The Gnar-ball Trinities, recorded their first CD, Sanctuary, last spring.
Facing East was recorded on April 18, 2006 by Peter Sprague at Spragueland Studios in Encinitas, California.