Monday night, typically, is not a show night at the Sun Tiki Studios – – but then, it’s not every night that a musician of Grammy-nominated keyboardist Rachel Eckroth‘s caliber comes through town, either.
Eckroth, who’s playing at the Sun Tiki on Monday, Dec. 27, has established herself as a creative force whose nuanced sound transcends any single genre, collaborating and touring with an impressive roster of talented musicians, including St. Vincent, Rufus Wainright, and KT Tunstall. Her most recent solo effort, The Garden, has earned a Grammy nomination in the Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, alongside the likes of Steve Gadd and Randy Brecker, and Monday’s gig at the Sun Tiki opens a limited, three-show run on the East coast, featuring a trio that also includes her partner, bassist Tim Lefebvre, and drummer Nate Wood.
The Garden, which was produced by Lefebvre, is stunning work that showcases Eckroth’s extraordinary talents as a player, composer and arranger, offering a sculpted, textured sound that acknowledges the influence of players like McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock and ultimately emerges, gradually, as something fully realized in is own right.
In short, it is an astonishing record.
The Sun Tiki show on the 27th is not her first time playing in Portland — Eckroth, touring with St. Vincent, played Thompson’s Point back in September; it is, however, her first solo show here.
Speaking by telephone, Eckworth said the show at the Sun Tiki will draw, in large part, from The Garden.
“This is the first show, outside of New York, really, with my own stuff,” Eckroth said. “We’re going to be doing mostly stuff from The Garden, because that’s what we’re promoting now, but a lot of times at shows I do a big variety of stuff. I’ll probably throw in a couple of songs that have singing, too.”
Eckroth said the Sun Tiki show came about because of a personal connection that Lefebvre, whose long list of credits includes a stint as the bass player in the Tedeschi Trucks Band and playing bass on David Bowie‘s final album, Blackstar, had established.
“McCrae (Hathaway, who handles the booking at the Sun Tiki) is a friend of Tim’s. He’d been listening to our stuff for a while, and he asked us to do it. We were going to be out on the East coast for Christmas, and we figured we could throw in some dates just after Christmas, and that was one of the options. Plus, it’s a great room.”
And the chance to see a musician of Eckroth’s talent and standing in such an intimate setting is an opportunity to good to pass up.
Tickets to the show are available now but going fast. Get them here.