Back in October, we presented four great shows with pianist Taylor Eigsti and drummer Jeremy Dutton as part of our new Mentoring Series. Every gig featured a different lineup and different repertoire, and we had the chance to talk with Taylor and Jeremy over the course of those gigs about the work they were presenting together (read the entire trilogy here: part I, II, and III).
Now, a little over a month after their final Mentoring Series concert, we spoke with Taylor and Jeremy separately by phone to follow up with their experience and hear their thoughts.
N.B. Catch the last Mentoring Series show of this season on Thursday, January 15th, 2015, featuring Jason Lindner’s NOW vs. NOW with James Francies.
The Jazz Gallery: What were some of your favorite moments that happened over the course of the four gigs?
Jeremy Dutton: I really liked all of them. They were all very different and gave me something to think about musically and something different to adapt to. That was my favorite part in general: how each concert I got to adapt to a new thing or tried to adapt to a new thing.
Taylor Eigsti: There were tons of musical moments that stood out, but I think just the chance to explore different musical contexts was cool. We did different music at every show, but I think the first moment that comes to mind would have been the second gig. We decided to improvise for 70 minutes straight, and that’s definitely something that takes you on a journey together. I felt like you really get to know someone musically when you’re so into that context with no safety net, just knowing you have to play for 70 minutes. I think he’s just a masterful, really great musician, and I thought, “Whoa, I know this dude musically.” He’s got a huge future and I’m proud of it.
TJG: How do you rehearse that sort of thing?
TE: There’s no way to rehearse. The only way is to hang out socially, because it’s social communication when you’re in that situation, but we get along really well so it makes it possible to have a musical conversation that doesn’t have, you know, training wheels—having tunes and things like that.
TJG: How do you decide what you’re going to play?
TE: It depends. Just like any conversation: if the wind takes you there, that’s what you’re talking about, but we could just talk about anything else. The musicians I hang with and travel with, we probably only talk about music as much as anything else. It’s just that music reflects life and so I’m very much about going and living one, and doing those elements and trying to survive all of that, and that shows up in the music. I guess that would be something different, maybe if music was newer to me or something, but I’ve been playing for 26 years and I see so much life in it, so I interact with music mainly through a lot of other means.