I heard Taylor Eigsti on the radio yesterday morning, with Alisa Clancy of KCSM and was moved to call in and purchase a pair of tickets for his show Sunday at Filoli in Woodside, featuring Gretchen Parlato, the vocalist. Filoli is not too far from where Tay grew up, in Menlo Park, and he graduated from the Woodside Priory. He lives in New York these days, and is 30.
When Taylor played The Cubberley Sessions, in fall 2000, he had just turned 16. He said in the interview that Smith Dobson had him help teach a class in San Jose when Tay was only 13 or so. He taught at Stanford Jazz workshop as of age 15 or so and is returning, he says, later this summer, to teach, perform, learn (?!) and jam for the 19th time.
The interviewer name-checked Joey Alexander, a 11-year old with a new set on Motema. I would be curious to hear Tay’s impressions of Joey. He would say nice and polite things, I’m sure.
John Shiflett told me that he could sense Tay’s development between the first and second sets at their free show at the Mountain View performing arts center.
Taylor’s mom, Nancy Eigsti told me once that when Taylor was in the crib he would cry if she didn’t put on a Fattburger record which he like to listen to before falling asleep. As in, he had already developed a certain amount of taste, or the ability to distinguish what he knew from something new — we can argue about the merits of that thing. Tay said in the interview that he remembers listening to Marian McPartland show on the radio, imagining someday being on the show, then worrying that she might call out a tune that he didn’t know. He eventually appeared on the show several times, and in fact filled in for Marian at a Filoli gig she had to cancel, purported on his 16th birthday, which would have been September 24, 2000 if we can believe what we read on the internet.
Taylor said that he tours with the Chris Botti band and that Chris jokingly introduces him as “Brad Cooper on piano”. Here are the two photographs, let’s compare.
When Taylor was 16, he looked more like Don Adams as Maxwell Smart, shown here with Gretchen Parlato.
edit to add: I wonder if Paolo Alderighi appearing at Filoli this summer knows “Palo Alto” by Lee Konitz?