Instant invention

S.F. pianist rejoins trio for exciting night of jazz

GO MAN GO!<br>Piano virtuoso and NASA scientist Durand Begault (left) cuts loose with Chico jazz man Percy Furgason.

Piano virtuoso and NASA scientist Durand Begault (left) cuts loose with Chico jazz man Percy Furgason.

Photo By Tom Angel

Percy Furgason Trio, featuring Alan Ginter & Durand Begault At Moxie’s Café & Gallery
Sat., Sept. 27, 8pm.

Take an ESL teacher, a music teacher and a NASA scientist, put ’em all together, and what do you get? One of the best jazz trios around. Anywhere. Chico drummer Percy Furgason, Sacramento (ex-Chico) bassist Alan Ginter and San Francisco pianist extraordinaire Durand Begault comprise the Percy Furgason Trio, jazz at its finest and most authentic, and this Saturday at Moxie’s we’re lucky enough to have them together under one Chico roof.

Master drummer Furgason has played every kind of music in his drumming career, from country to experimental rock to Hindustani music (he also plays tablas). And, of course, jazz. Begault has similarly played many styles of music. His story about playing in the Bay Area lounge trio backing a guy named Lars Mars ("a cross between Elvis Presley and Alfred E. Neuman"), playing salsa versions of Steppenwolf songs and “Burt Bacharach with an edge” is particularly wild and entertaining, kind of like his absolutely brilliant piano playing.

Furgason and Begault have played various kinds of music together for about 30 years, since their early days in the Bay Area (Furgason moved to Chico in the early ‘80s), and for almost all of those 30 years have had a jazz trio together. Bassist Ginter (who spent a considerable amount of time as a musical luminary in Turkey) joined the trio about a year ago, after their long-term bassist moved to New York and last year passed away.

The trio is supremely masterful (check out, for instance, Ginter’s bowing on the strings below his bass bridge), intense and totally in the moment. Scientist/artist Begault speaks of “spontaneous energy and being … a direct connect to motion.” Nothing is pre-planned; songs are often created at the gig.

If you’re a jazz fan, or any kind of music lover, really, just don’t miss these guys. I just can’t overrate them.