Jazz Notes, Clint Eastwood

Jazz is Clint Eastwood’s Passion

Written by Louise Levy

Earlier in the year, I was reading a review of a movie I was thinking of seeing called Richard Jewell. When I realised the director was Clint Eastwood, I wanted to go the following week.

But chaos began and catastrophe changed our world, cinemas started to close their doors. That is what happens with COVID-19.

So, I went online to find out more about Clint Eastwood; how did he get started? What films has he made? And what music does he enjoy? I was surprised to find that Eastwood has a deep affection for jazz.

When he was a child, his mother used to bring home jazz and he listened to Fats Waller’s records. As he was growing up, he learnt to play the piano, guitar and trumpet. Once Eastwood finished high school he drifted towards acting, and later became a director in 1971 and a producer in 1982.

I also discovered Clint Eastwood added music and in particular jazz to his movies. When he needed a soundtrack for Richard Jewell Eastwood used soul jazz by singer Jack Mack and The Heart Attack. The movie Bird (1988) which Clint Eastwood directed, follows the jazz saxophonist Charlie “Bird” Parker and his difficult life. For the movie Million Dollar Baby (2004), Clint Eastwood directed, co-produced, and created the score. In Gran Torino, which Eastwood starred in, directed and produced, he had created a feeling for the theme song and asked Jamie Cullum to write the words. His son, Kyle Eastwood, wrote the soundtrack.

Clint Eastwood is now 90 years old and is working on the next movie!

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