Cecile McLorin Salvant & Sullivan Fortner at SFJAZZ, by Ria Burman
Cecile McLorin Salvant & Sullivan Fortner (photo: Ria Burman)

SFJAZZ kicked off their autumn season opening night with their signature champagne and truffle offerings amidst the phenomenally fresh, jaw-dropping four-day residency acts of Cecile McLorin Salvant and Taylor McFerrin.

Cecile McLorin Salvant, gracing the Miner Auditorium stage in pink, fluffy, slipper-heeled shoes, sang jazz songs of old, accompanied on piano by Sullivan Fortner. Playing two 40-minute sets, Cecile added her own creations to the mix, singing superb originals thatcan be found on her third album, the Grammy-winning Dreams and Daggers. Keep an eye out for Cecile McLorin Salvant and Sullivan Fortner’s expansive explorations in the upcoming album, The Window.

Across the building in the Joe Henderson Lab, Taylor McFerrin — eldest son of Bobby McFerrin — was found behind mic, keys, and laptop delivering electronic ecstasy with two improvised sets

He was accompanied on drums by Marcus Gilmore. McFerrin took the crowd on a elegantly electric mind tour of chaotic city gridlocked traffic in high heat and hunger through to rainforest waterfall retreats and hazy beach shore days of chill — all within one tune. Playing with the steadfast Gilmore, whose jaw-dropping drum dazzle pushes the realms of beats and bangs, the dynamic duo delivered a show full of freshness and new ground.

Overlooking the set was the latest photo exhibit from SFJAZZ. It is located on the wall opposite SFJAZZ and holds black and white photos of jazz musicians in the window frames. It began with photos of jazz musicians taken by Herman Leonard. Two years ago, Jim Marshall’s jazz photos were presented and now a new set of images by William Gottlieb can be found hanging.