Concord Jazz is proud to announce the release of Daylight at Midnight, the newest album from the pianist/composer Taylor Eigsti. This innovative collection includes original Eigsti compositions, as well as other remarkable musical renditions by composers such as Nick Drake, Imogen Heap, Elliot Smith and Rufus Wainwright. The 11-track collection marks Eigsti’s third Concord Jazz release and is available September 21, 2010.
On Daylight at Midnight, Eigsti continues to challenge the norms of what constitutes jazz today. While Eigsti pays full respect to the jazz tradition, he also exercises his passion for melodies of esteemed songwriters from his generation and explores a variety of music that piques his curiosity. In this collection, he not only finds resonance in the aforementioned top-tier, pop-oriented composers... but also brings to light a doubleheader of personal revelation: 20th-century Catalonian classical pianist Federico Mompou and up-and-coming vocalist/songwriter Becca Stevens, who sings five of the 11 tunes and adds her own flavors of the ukulele and charango. As fitting for an adventurous repertoire, the young pianist augments his unique and lyrical style with the Fender Rhodes, Rhodes PianoBass, Wurlitzer electric piano and Mellotron samples to add color and texture to the tunes.
Daylight at Midnight opens with an inventive instrumental interpretation of Coldplay’s “Daylight,” where Eigsti’s brilliant piano lines and his simpatico rhythm team of bassist Harish Raghavan and world-renowned jazz drummer Eric Harland create beautiful and unpredictable sound waves. The end of the tune affirms Eigsti’s principle, stating, “I can play standards the rest of my life. But I wanted to step away to see what I could do that was different.”
The first track is followed by producer Matt Pierson’s selections: Wainwright’s “The Art Teacher,” which is an instrumental piece that showcases the pianist’s adept Fender Rhodes accompaniment, and “ The Water,” which features luminous vocalist Becca Stevens in a sensual, yet confident and concentrated manner. Stevens also stars on Imogen Heap’s “Little Bird,” a whimsical tune that is performed as a duo with Fender Rhodes, and on Elliot Smith’s reflective beauty “Between the Bars” as well as the collaborative originals, “Magnolia“ and ”Midnight After Noon.” Of the latter piece, Eigsti explains, “I’d been trying to finish this song for some five years...Once the words came, I realized that the loop melody I had written started sticking in my head.” In the middle section of the album, Eigsti strips his band down to a duo with guest guitarist and longtime musical partner, Julian Lage, on Nick Drake’s “Pink Moon.”
Even as important as Daylight at Midnight is to Eigsti’s growth as an artist, the pianist is already thinking about his next musical projects. The once prodigious child pianist is unsatisfied staying static. He is always craving for change in a new music project or exploring different sounds. “With Daylight at Midnight, I wanted to tap into the singer-songwriter world, which will hopefully lead to the next compositional phase in my musical development.”