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Jazz - Released January 1, 2002 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions Elu par Citizen Jazz
Smile is a good showcase for pianist Jacky Terrasson's patented blend of mischief and mastery. A kind of companion piece to the superb A Paris (Blue Note, 2000), two tracks extend its "I love Paris" theme: the dazzling "Parisian Thoroughfare," and the luscious, dreamy "Sous le Ciel de Paris," (aka "Paris Skies"). This CD is a typically eclectic Terrasson mix, combining the classic and contemporary with formidable technique and playfulness. Terrasson personalizes the title track by infusing it with his own little theme, a kind of cowboy refrain, and giving it a smooth, propulsive flow in tricky five/four rhythm. It's a startling conception, and beautifully realized. Another show-stopper is the haunting "The Dolphin," by Brazilian composer Luis Eca, where bassist Sean Smith delivers a bold and brilliant extended solo, full of lyricism and swing. On "My Funny Valentine," the trio defies the laws of nature: they burn this overdone classic and make it rare. Elsewhere, Terrasson deranges Stevie Wonder, funking it up with Remi Vignolo's electric bass; he meditates on "Nardis" over a deep, steady groove of bass and drums, and takes an intricate, unpredictable solo journey on "Autumn Leaves." Terrasson has been called "flamboyant," but this overlooks the sensitivity in his playing. While he's known for being adventurous, he's no showoff: his respect for the music and the listener is always evident. Two more things are certain: Terrasson sounds like nobody else, and this CD is full of surprise and delight. ~ Judith Schlesinger
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53

Jazz - Released September 27, 2019 | Blue Note

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His fifteenth album is called 53! “Why 53? Simply because I wrote and recorded this music during my 53 rd year, and on this occasion I wanted to make a record that really reflected me. At the age of 53, a man begins to feel he has reached a form of maturity, he is at his peak, and so can look at life with hindsight and see things more clearly. With this record I wanted to give everything of myself, to take risks, while assuming my career, my artistic choices, my life … and my age!” Jacky Terrasson perfectly follows that roadmap on this 15th album as a leader in his 30-year career...Though this time around, the master of covers (“This way that I have to totally take over a piece by passing it through a formal and stylistic deconstruction process that renews how you see the piece. I have always loved indulging in this kind of transformation, it is like my signature in a way.”) opts for his own compositions. We find sixteen tracks that are deliberately shaped like songs and magnified by dense and precise arrangements. Capable of both pyrotechnic flamboyancy and delicate touches, the brilliant Terrasson fills his album with nods towards his idols. We find influences from Keith Jarrett in the aptly named Kiss Jannett for Me, and Ahmad Jamal on the opening of The Call. He also alternates between groovy sounds on the very pop-like This is Mine (after Charlie Chaplin’s theme Smile) and lyrical touches with the ballad La Part des anges. Jacky Terrasson even quotes Mozart on Lacrimosa with an excerpt from his Requiem. Such eclecticism!So as to highlight this kaleidoscopic richness even more, he offers up several rhythmic sections: Géraud Portal/Ali Jackson, Sylvain Romano/Gregory Hutchinson and Thomas Bramerie/Lukmil Perez. A diversity that gives concrete form to the different facets of his compositions. This could well be one of Jacky Terrasson’s greatest records... © Clotilde Maréchal/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2000 | Blue Note Records

Jacky Terrasson's 1999 album, What It Is, represented something of a risk. The young pianist's first three albums were barebones trio affairs that had won him rave reviews, whereas What It Is featured additional instruments and was more slickly produced. Gone, it seemed, was the sparse, acoustic approach that had originally given Terrasson his fame. But while this new direction yielded mixed results and left some fans a bit befuddled, one had to respect Terrasson's need to grow and evolve as an artist.Terrasson does much better with his follow-up, A Paris, an homage to the city of his youth and early adulthood. While not a return to the simple piano trio format (there are five guest musicians in addition to two alternating rhythm sections), the album has a spontaneous, natural sound that was lacking from the studio-centric What It Is. What's more, A Paris is packed with new and varied ideas that work, not to mention passionate, fiery playing throughout.Only the last two tracks are originals, the fewest ever on a Terrasson album. "Rue de Lombards," a funk fragment that sounds like an in-studio improvisation, is credited to Terrasson, drummer Terreon Gully, and bassist Remi Vignolo. The rest of the tracks are Terrasson's highly personal readings of songs from French culture. Most will not be familiar to American listeners, with the possible exception of "La Marseillaise" -- the French national anthem -- and the Edith Piaf classic "La Vie en Rose," played in a calypso feel by Terrasson and percussionist Minino Gara.Guitarist Bireli Lagrene's cameos on the bluesy title track and the swinging "Que Reste-T'Il de Nos Amours?" are nothing short of brilliant. The latter, which bears an uncanny likeness to Lerner & Loewe's "Almost Like Being in Love," features Terrasson on Fender Rhodes electric piano. Saxophonist Stefano di Battista also makes two fine appearances, playing tenor on the fast, tense "Jeux Interdits" and soprano on the lively and pretty "L'Aigle Noir," one of the two originals. Both Lagrene and Battista return for the brief, full-company finale, an intoxicating funk line by Terrasson titled "Métro." Another highlight is Terrasson resuscitating his funk version of Cole Porter's "I Love Paris," the only song by an American writer and the very one that led off Terrasson's 1994 debut album. Bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Leon Parker, Terrasson's trio mates from his first three albums, both return to play on the Porter track, as well as the opening Piaf number "Plaisir d'Amour" and an exquisite reading of Jacques Brel's "Ne Me Quitte Pas." The latter briefly features Gregoire Maret on harmonica, who played on What It Is. Several rather short pieces are grouped right around the middle of the album, giving that part of the program a collage-like feel that can seem a bit superficial. That aside, Terrasson has pulled off something rare: a concept album that succeeds on a variety of creative levels. In the process, he's given exposure to several excellent European musicians, not to mention some beautiful French music that American audiences ought to hear. ~ David R. Adler
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1997 | Blue Note Records

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53

Jazz - Released September 27, 2019 | Blue Note

His fifteenth album is called 53! “Why 53? Simply because I wrote and recorded this music during my 53 rd year, and on this occasion I wanted to make a record that really reflected me. At the age of 53, a man begins to feel he has reached a form of maturity, he is at his peak, and so can look at life with hindsight and see things more clearly. With this record I wanted to give everything of myself, to take risks, while assuming my career, my artistic choices, my life … and my age!” Jacky Terrasson perfectly follows that roadmap on this 15th album as a leader in his 30-year career...Though this time around, the master of covers (“This way that I have to totally take over a piece by passing it through a formal and stylistic deconstruction process that renews how you see the piece. I have always loved indulging in this kind of transformation, it is like my signature in a way.”) opts for his own compositions. We find sixteen tracks that are deliberately shaped like songs and magnified by dense and precise arrangements. Capable of both pyrotechnic flamboyancy and delicate touches, the brilliant Terrasson fills his album with nods towards his idols. We find influences from Keith Jarrett in the aptly named Kiss Jannett for Me, and Ahmad Jamal on the opening of The Call. He also alternates between groovy sounds on the very pop-like This is Mine (after Charlie Chaplin’s theme Smile) and lyrical touches with the ballad La Part des anges. Jacky Terrasson even quotes Mozart on Lacrimosa with an excerpt from his Requiem. Such eclecticism!So as to highlight this kaleidoscopic richness even more, he offers up several rhythmic sections: Géraud Portal/Ali Jackson, Sylvain Romano/Gregory Hutchinson and Thomas Bramerie/Lukmil Perez. A diversity that gives concrete form to the different facets of his compositions. This could well be one of Jacky Terrasson’s greatest records... © Clotilde Maréchal/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released June 9, 2015 | Concord Jazz

Booklet
Jacky Terrasson's 11th CD and first for the Concord label is a lively affair, mostly in a trio setting with special guests spotted in, that addresses various avenues of contemporary jazz styles. Pop and Afro-Cuban or even South African flavors are sprinkled in with the technically challenging bop that the pianist excels in. Thelonious Monk Award-winning bassist from Michigan State University Ben Williams is in on this one, as well as cameo appearances from Gregoire Maret on harmonica and saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart amidst Terrasson's acoustic piano, occasional electric keyboards, and some vocalizing. Echoes of Keith Jarrett, Frank Emilio Flynn, or Abdullah Ibrahim creep in as the gifted and oftentimes brilliant Terrasson bobs and weaves through this set of originals and highly modified versions of familiar tunes. A blurring fast "Beat Bop" hopped up with synthesizer accents, the contemporary "O Cafe, O Soleil" with Cyro Baptista's percussion work and handclapping reveling in the Capetown joy of Ibrahim, and the deliberate modal soul-funk of "Morning" all showcase vastly different interests for Terrasson. The pleasant pop trio jazz of "Gaux Girl" recalls Michael Jackson's "Liberian Girl," while the combination of Jackson's "Beat It" with the revered standard "Body and Soul" might seem odd until you hear Terrasson's free jazz tinkling to rubato and modal ideas, a thoroughly contemporary development, even adding a waltz tempo. There are stock or straight-laced versions of "'Round Midnight" and "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To" that in this collection sound unusually common, but are played with a high degree of artistry and prowess. Push is one of Terrasson's most enjoyable and diverse recordings, a fine display of how he has both grown apart from what might be musically fashionable and matured exponentially. ~ Michael G. Nastos
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1996 | Blue Note Records

The talented young pianist Jacky Terrasson and his trio (with bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Leon Parker) find something new to say on a few standards (including a rare up-tempo version of "For Sentimental Reasons") and introduce five of Terrasson's originals. Although he has does not have an original style yet, Terrasson displays a great deal of potential for the future. Highlights include "I Should Care," "Just One of Those Things," and a medley of his "Reach" with "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes." ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | Blue Note Records

This set is a bit of a departure for pianist Jacky Terrasson who has generally been heard in acoustic trio formats. Terrasson utilizes a variety of other musicians in larger ensembles for mostly original works (other than Ravel's "Bolero"). Among his sidemen are tenor-saxophonist Michael Brecker (who gets off a couple intense solos), flutist Jay Collins, Mino Cinelu on percussion and guitarist Adam Rodgers, among others; Xiomara Laugarts sings on "Better World," and on a few numbers, Terrasson plays a bit of electric piano. Overall, this set is open to the influences of world music and more funk-oriented jazz, yet Jacky Terrasson still sounds quite creative, explorative and individual. An intriguing program. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1995 | Blue Note Records

Jacky Terrasson delights in turning standards inside out. On his eponymously titled debut CD he gives odd rhythms to "I Love Paris," purposely speeds up and slows down the tempo on "Bye Bye Blackbird," takes "I Fall in Love Too Easily" very slowly, does his best to disguise "Bye Bye Blackbird," and shows a grasp of dynamics worthy of Ahmad Jamal. It is fortunate that bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Leon Parker are very alert (or perhaps well-rehearsed), because to the uninitiated listener these eccentric and rather quirky performances are often quite unpredictable and occasionally jarring. Well worth checking out. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2001 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Blue Note Records

This is a very subtle date with the musicians utilizing dynamics and a lot of space (a little reminiscent in spots of Ahmad Jamal's Trio). Pianist Jacky Terrasson is so laidback in spots that it is almost as if he does not want to be recognized as the group's leader. Bassist Ugonna Okegwo works closely with him and drummer Leon Parker (famous for using a rather minimal drum set) fits into the concept well. Still, one often finds themselves listening to this music (a variety of originals and standards such as "Things Ain't What They Used to Be," "Sister Cheryl" and "Nature Boy") waiting for something to happen. "Love for Sale" (which is given the catchy bassline of "Chameleon") is a highlight of the intriguing but not essential live set. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2007 | Blue Note Records

Since winning the Thelonious Monk Piano competition in 1993, Jacky Terrasson has more than validated the judges' opinions with a consistently outstanding series of CDs. Mirror provides a rare opportunity to enjoy Terrasson in a solo piano setting. He recasts the old favorite from the Duke Ellington songbook by mixing a different vamp, adding an ominous tremolo and even taking breaks to tap on the piano's wood surface, while never losing his focus on its theme and delivering a fresh, exciting interpretation. The choppy setting of "Just a Gigolo" is an obvious nod to Thelonious Monk (who liked to toy with this standard) though Terrasson's take is even more adventurous and playful. The pianist's romp through "Cherokee" hints only briefly at the melody, showcasing his improvising with a variation of its chord changes in the bassline. His touching setting of "America the Beautiful" suggests hope in a time of turmoil. Terrasson's five originals also prove to be memorable performances. His rapid-fire "Mirror" is breathtaking, while his "Tragic Mulatto Blues" blends a heartfelt theme with a bit of turmoil. Jacky Terrasson's Mirror leaves a lasting reflection of his immense talent. ~ Ken Dryden
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2010 | Concord Jazz

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Jazz - Released January 19, 2015 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France