The Gerry Eastman Quintet lets listeners remember what classic jazz was like when the soft mood music of Count Basie and Archie Shepp dominated the jazz club’s dining halls. Guitarist Gerry Eastman leads his band into slow burning melodies and delicately cliffed arbors of sounds which graze with sheer smoothness along their latest release Brown Skin Gal. Produced by Eastman, the album is stocked with soft piano florets made by Mfergue and Mamiko Watanabe and comfy bass pleats sowed by Stanley Banks and Shawn Whitley. The curlicue puffs of soprano saxophonist Joe Ford and trombonist Kiane Zawagdi create charming embellishments as the gentle drum loops played by Taru Alexander and Newman Baker produce a lounging undercurrent.
The scaling notes of Eastman’s guitar through "Another Rendezvous" have a peppy pulse, and then reduce to a slow simmer in Joe Ford’s tune "CB." The gentle stroking of "Just Like The First Time" are warm and wispy which then change into a series of tender fluttering swirls through Roland Alexander’s number "Miss B." The title track has a debonair flare with elegant guitar lines and a sparse layout, which segue into the upbeat shuffles of "Can’t Do Without It" with chords that punctuate the ripples in the movements.
Gerry Eastman’s work as a performer, composer, producer, arranger, conductor, and bandleader shows that he has his feet firmly planted in mood embossed jazz. His repertoire also includes Delta Blues and avant-garde medleys. Growing up in Upstate New York, Eastman honed his skills as a bass player before moving onto the guitar. As a respected musicologist specializing in jazz and blues, Eastman continues to inspire burgeoning musicians onto the path of making music that comes from one’s soul and deliver warmth to the listener.