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Album Review

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.

Biography

Born: November 27, 1966 in Berlin, Germany

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Originally hailed as one of the bright young lions on the straight-ahead jazz scene of the 1990s, virtuoso pianist Jacky Terrasson developed into a sophisticated performer with eclectic stylistic taste. Beginning with his self-titled 1995 debut for Blue Note Records, Terrasson drew high praise from all corners of the jazz world. His feathery keyboard touch is coupled with a lot of power and passion, and a complete understanding of the blues and improvisation, and Terrasson is also a gifted arranger,...
Full Bio
Smile, Jacky Terrasson
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Bop, Contemporary Jazz
  • Released: Oct 21, 2002

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