At the mere age of twenty-three this young and gifted pianist-composer-band leader Taylor Eigsti has been truly blessed with tons of accolades and frankly deservingly so since his Concord Records debut “Lucky To Be Me.” In 2008, he explores new frontiers in jazz by leaping forward into the future with his compelling sophomore release titled “Let It Come To You” produced by Eigsti and Chris Dunn.
As an artist, it always helps to surround oneself by a wealth of talent whether playing live or recording in the studio. On this gathering, Taylor calls his working ensemble lead by guitarist and collaborator Julian Lage, Reuben Rogers on bass and Eric Harland on drums with such special guests Joshua Redman on tenor saxophone, and Edmar Castaneda on Colombian harp are primary torch barriers on this session to invoke their enormous skill set into these 11 wonderfully played and arranged original and reinvented standard(s) compositions.
For those of you that haven’t had the pleasure to hear this talented lad, well my friends you’re missing out on one of the most significant and fresh young voices in jazz today. Thinking back to my first encounter with Eigsti’s debut, I just thought I was impressed by this guy’s ability to lure you into his imaginative palette of diverse tones, chords, shapes and improvised colors until I met his latest masterpiece “Let It Come to You.”
From jump-street, the Grammy nominated Taylor advances his voice effectively into open spaces with a tune called “I Love You.” What a great way to begin a set as he eloquently pulls you into the piece by playing softly and soon gains momentum by swinging with endurance and finesse way beyond his years. Therefore, he establishes the near perfect tempo to set this boundless journey of splendor in part one of a caravan of buoyant compositions that are yet to come.
One of my favs out of the box is “Timeline [Dedicated to Michael Brecker].” Grammy winning guitarist Pat Metheny composed this gem in memory of the late saxophonist. This challenging masterful piece features the awesome talents of Joshua Redman on tenor horn supported by Eigsti’s incomparable ensemble shakes things up with a wealth of vitality and purpose!
“Not Ready Yet,” is melodically one of my favorite tunes on this project. Taylor is definitely in touch with the intimate side of his playing on this arrangement as well as the title cut “Let It Come to You.” Co-leader and guitarist Julian Lange struts his stuff by reinventing the jazz standard “Caravan.” His strokes and riffs are in abundance soaring with groovy jazz hooks laced with off-metered rhythms are quite engaging giving this classic a fresh and provocative re-facing.
The vibrant, funky and charismatic sounds of “Not Lost Yet & Brick Steps” features two relatively new voices on the jazz scene Dayna Stephens and Ben Wendel on tenor saxophones. Wow, I’m nearly exhausted here, these cats came to play! Yes, there are plenty other impressive, creative and stimulating compositions anchored to his intriguing arrangements to talk about here. Better yet, do yourself a favor and head to his site or find a music outlet near you and pick up this jewel. This guy’s music is simply what jazz is all about, at least from my perspective. Taylor Eigsti brilliantly bridges original compositions and reinvents standards to make his music a rewarding, interesting, and thought provoking listening experience for now and years to come.
Rob Young | The Urban Flux