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February 16 -- Taylor Eigsti at Woodside Priory
Photos by Andy Nozaka
A near-capacity crowd filled Rothrock Performing Arts Hall at Woodside Priory School for PAJA’s winter concert. The headliner was Taylor Eigsti, who always enjoys returning to his alma mater and the very supportive crowds there. Taylor also seems happy to perform at Herb Wong-produced events, and he mentioned how Herb helped jump start his career when Taylor was just 11 years old. So, it was kind of an “old home” event, though the music was anything but old or cozy.
Dayna Stephens .......................................Dayna Stephens and Harish Raghavan
Saxophonist Dayna Stephens (a Berkeley High grad) was Taylor’s special guest and his mellow solos illuminated every number. Of particular note were Dayna’s flights on “But Beautiful” and, believe it or not, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” A highlight of the afternoon was Dayna’s new composition,“Doctor Wong’s Birdsong.”
The impressive Eric Harland was the group’s drummer. Harland, who has played with the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Charles Lloyd, Betty Carter, and most recently with the SF Jazz Collective, has a fascinating style which complemented the group beautifully. Longtime Eigsti collaborator Harish Raghavan was on bass.
Eric Harland ...................................Taylor Eigsti Quartet
The afternoon was billed as a tribute to Chuck Huggins, the late CEO of See’s Candies—a major sponsor of jazz in the Bay Area—and to the recently deceased Dave Brubeck with whom Taylor performed many times. In fact, Taylor reprised a Brubeck piece—“The Duke”—which he played at Brubeck’s memorial service in Wilton, CT.
More Photos from the Eigsti concert by Brad Shirakawa
and James R. Kaspar/JRK Images
LE JAZZ HOT ENTERTAINS AT THE ELKS CLUB
PAJA members and other fans had a lovely time listening to great gypsy jazz provided
by Le Jazz Hot, the quartet of the Hot Club of San Francisco.
Group leader Paul Mehling provided wonderful Django-like guitar licks, while Evan Price stood in brilliantly for Stephane Grappelli on the violin. The versatile Sam Rocha was on bass, and Isabelle Fontaine was the real soul of the ensemble, with toe-tapping rhythm guitar and her charming vocals. This Bruce Powell Jazz Party attracted about 140 fans to the Palo Alto Elks Club ballroom, Sunday afternoon, November 11—PAJA’s fall jazz presentation. The word on these great musicians was “they never fail to dazzle and delight,” and they delivered to everyone’s satisfaction.