Jacky Terrasson

Push

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    8
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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.

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