The Jazzcat

Taylor Eigsti at Catalina Bar and Grill

by on May.24, 2006, under News



Slide Show


Much surrounds the name Taylor Eigsti. I heard the name but did not know the music. We met after a performance of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance Ensemble and the Joshua Redman Trio at USC’s Bovard auditorium. Reuben Rogers and Eric Harland, who had been playing with Joshua introduced us and gave many accolades to this young cat who they said was putting it down nice! Now when two stellar performers give propositions to the new kid on the block, this is to be taken seriously.


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Suddenly everywhere I look, I see and hear people speak of Taylor Eigsti. So, as you can imagine I was pretty hyped for this performance at the Catalina Bar and Grill here in Los Angeles. I generally don’t believe the hype but, it was evident from the first notes played, this cat is in the game.




Big wheels and marketing machines get behind so many young players that have the looks, talent and marketing charisma to make them turn. They pump the public with over inflated ideas creating the smoke. Well, Taylor plays with such a fire, that when you look across the city skies, there is no doubt that the smoke is black and the house is coming down!




It is a Monday night here at Catalina’s. Usually not a popular night for music in general, but tonight, the seats are filled not only with music lovers, but with those who play, promote and write about the music as well.  John Clayton, Harish Raghavan., Jerry Ough, Concord Records, Bo Liebowitz, Mary Anne Topper and even Scott Willis from 88.1 KKJZ came out to see the new born king! Whenever you see Mary Anne Topper in the house, that usually means that there is an air of success surrounding some young jazz talent in the mix. I have not been wrong yet.




Taylor took “Giant Steps” and won the race. The next heat was, “Caravan” and team Eighsti once again concluded victoriously!  The emotion and mystery of “Darn That Dream” leaves you vacillating between a world of reality and one where hedonism is on and in full abundance! “Woke up This Morning” is the theme song for the popular HBO television show, “The Sopranos”. The element of funk is added to the mix taking what is familiar and abstracting it into alternate communications.  Each one of these players has such a vast array of notes to choose from at any given moment that you can bet with 100% accuracy the outcome of your listening experience.




The textures are rich and layered. Taylor switches from piano to synthesizer to add even more flavor to an already splendid dish. He duos with guitar player Julian Lage and each performer relishes in each others sweet notes. Dark chords, lightning rhythm, thunderous bass and drums reign with beats and certainly provide the occasion to dance for the freedom in the jazz!




Fun and joy are also a part of this experience. These guys enjoy playing with each other because their union allows them to find out more about themselves in the music. Even though big wheels keep on turnin’, you will find that Taylor and his band are some of the coolest, most humble, respectful and appreciative musicians on the planet.  Doors, eyes, ears and wallets will continue to open.




“Lucky to be Me” is the title of the disc but, there is no luck behind the talent of Taylor Eigsti and his band, only hard work, dedication, reward and much success.




LeRoy Downs

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