Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved reader experience across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

446

Taylor Eigsti: Let It Come To You

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Everyone who hears him seems to agree: Taylor Eigsti is the most exciting progressive-mainstream pianist to come along in a very long time. Pianist Dave Brubeck says, "He's the most amazing talent I've ever come across." Not the most amazing talent Brubeck has come across "in recent years" or "in America," or any such qualification, but the most amazing talent ever, period.



It's all true. Still only 23 years old, Eigsti is like a fresh wind blowing through in-the-tradition jazz. A virtuoso technician—a child prodigy, at age 12 he opened for singers Diana Krall and Al Jarreau—he's also an inventive bandleader and arranger who puts his line-ups together with imagination and then plays to his colleagues' strengths. Above all, he's an electrifying improviser, bursting with ideas and wholly free of cliche.



Let It Come To You is Eigsti's sixth album (he released his first in 1999) and his second for Concord, following Lucky To Be Me (Concord, 2006). Seven of the tracks are refreshed and recalibrated standards or new standards, from Cole Porter through Duke Ellington to Wayne Shorter and Pat Metheny, one is a rock cover (The Eels' "Not Ready Yet"), and four more are Eigsti originals.



Eigsti puts such a personal spin on standard material that he makes even the most familiar tune sound newborn. Juan Tizol and Ellington's "Caravan," taken at a furious pace with creative rhythmic departures, includes blinding solos from guitarist Julian Lage and Eigsti, who supplements his Paganini-like technical facility with DigiTech pedal effects and engages in a storming dialogue with drummer Eric Harland. Eigsti's facility is remarkable, but it's not the point of his music and he doesn't constantly foreground it. Here, however, it's just gobsmacking. At 9:22, "Caravan" never lets up.



Another track propelled by two teams of horses is Pat Metheny's "Timeline." Eigsti's arrangement features tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman in a tribute to the late saxophonist Michael Brecker, who recorded it on Time Is Of The Essence (Verve, 1999). Metheny himself performed the tune as a tribute to the ailing Brecker in 2005, with David Sanchez on tenor. Redman solos twice, starting hardboppish and becoming increasingly free. At 8:27, it's another extended rocket trip.



At other times, Eigsti gets deliciously dreamy. Antonio Carlos Jobim and Chico Buarque's "Portrait In Black And White" showcases Lage's weird and otherworldly guitar, sounding like something between a zither and harp. Eddie Cooley and John Davenport's "Fever" does feature a harp, a Colombian version of the instrument played in duet with the piano.



The originals include Eigsti's overdubbed "rhythm" piano, subtly employed. The three part "Fallback Suite" is played by an augmented line-up and draws much of its interest from Eigsti's layered arrangements for tenor saxophones and flutes, which have something in common with British reedplayer Finn Peters' writing on his wonderful Butterflies (Accidental Records, 2008).



There are many more delights. This is a monster of an album.


Track Listing: I Love You; Timeline; Not Ready Yet; Caravan; Portrait In Black & White; Deluge; Fever; Let It Come To You; Fall Back Suite: Free Will; Fall Back Suite: Lost Yet; Fall Back Suite: Steps.

Personnel: Taylor Eigsti: piano; Julian Lage: guitar; Eric Harland: drums; Reuben Rogers: bass; Joshua Redman: tenor sax; Edmar Castaneda: Colombian harp; Dayna Stephens: tenor sax (9-11); Ben Wendel: tenorsax (8-10); Evan Francis: flutes (8-10).

Title: Let It Come To You | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Concord Music Group

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Roppongi CD/LP/Track Review Roppongi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Is Life Long? CD/LP/Track Review Is Life Long?
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Contra la indecision CD/LP/Track Review Contra la indecision
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Vessel in Orbit CD/LP/Track Review Vessel in Orbit
by Don Phipps
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Pulse/Quartet CD/LP/Track Review Pulse/Quartet
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 19, 2018
Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read "Agrima" CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 13, 2017
Read "Tribute to Ndouga Dieng" CD/LP/Track Review Tribute to Ndouga Dieng
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 10, 2017
Read "Asian Fields Variations" CD/LP/Track Review Asian Fields Variations
by John Kelman
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Little Giant Still Life" CD/LP/Track Review Little Giant Still Life
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 15, 2017
Read "On The Way Downtown: Recorded Live On FolkScene" CD/LP/Track Review On The Way Downtown: Recorded Live On FolkScene
by Doug Collette
Published: October 28, 2017
Read "Kisaragi" CD/LP/Track Review Kisaragi
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 17, 2017