Let It Come to You
Pianist Taylor Eigsti was first hyped as a superstar-in-training at age 8 when he opened a show for mentor David Benoit. The buzz intensified when the precocious Californian performed at 13 with Dave Brubeck, who praised the teen as “the most amazing talent I’ve come across.” Now 23, Eigsti justifies all of the ballyhooing with his second major-label release. Let It Come to You is an impressive effort marked by mind-blowing piano agility in a mostly straightahead vein, a fluid integration of styles, and enough transfixing melodies to please a mass audience.
Eigsti’s keen sense of melody and seemingly effortless command of the keyboard result in a diverse set of standards, covers, and originals. Core accompanists include fellow prodigy Julian Lage on guitars, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Eric Harland.
Former wunderkinds often feel compelled to flaunt their chops non-stop, a sure way to sap any music of emotion, but Eigsti’s technical brilliance enhances the fervency of his jazz. He and saxophonist Joshua Redman communicate with acute eloquence on Pat Metheny’s “Timeline,” a bracing tribute to Michael Brecker. Eigsti and Lage trade intense exchanges on an Afro-Cubanized “Caravan,” then execute a beautiful duet on Jobim’s “Portrait in Black and White.” “Fever” is a Latin piece showcasing the improvisational skills of Eigsti and Colombian harpist Edmar Castaneda.
Eigsti saves his best for last with “Fallback Plan Suite,” a three-part work incorporating bright balladry, smoldering funk, and sturdy post-bop in partnership with flutist Evan Francis and saxophonists Dayna Stephens and Ben Wendel. Subtle pop-jazz touches and a cover of “Not Ready Yet” by alt-rockers the Eels should help draw increased attention to this exceptional young artist.
- Ed Kopp