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Emmanuel Pahud/Jacky Terrasson: Into the Blue (2003)

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Emmanuel Pahud/Jacky Terrasson: Into the Blue No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Into the Blue is a blue ribbon event. Emmanuel Pahud is an award-winning classical flutist. Jacky Terrassson is an award-winning jazz pianist known for his playful inventiveness. Their duo CD, featuring jazz treatments of 14 classical melodies, was recorded in the south of France in late summer of 2001 but not released until June of 2003. On the surface, it recalls the popular '70s efforts of Claude Bolling and Jean-Pierre Rampal, but Terrasson & Co. are more adventurous. For example, they offer radical renderings of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" and a reggae approach to Mozart. Piano students may recognize Debussy's "Jimbo's Lullaby" as referring to the lumbering of an elephant; here, it becomes meditative and nearly Oriental.

The CD's highlight, a brilliant reconstruction of "Bolero," obliterates all memory of the repetitious and plodding original with its joyous Latin groove and episodes of funk and Fender Rhodes. Jazz's favorite French Impressionists are included — there's a gorgeous "Apres un Reve"— and while Ravel's beloved "Pavane" remains serenely beautiful, it contains interludes of communal passion and straight trio jazz. Top bassist Sean Smith and drummer Ali Jackson provide subtle, turn-on-a-dime support, and if Pahud's improvisations are somewhat limited, his tone is beautiful and he can swing. "Into the Blue" contains beauty and surprise and flashes of wit, which is typical of anything Terrasson does. Organically floating on the third stream, this one will appeal to both classical and jazz fans.

Track Listing: Voliere, Pavane, Bolero, Apres un Reve, Spring, Summer, Autonmne, Winter, Jimbo's Lullaby, Marche Turque, Pays Lointain, Moto Perpetuo, Vol du Bourdon, Veloce

Personnel: Terrasson, Jacky (piano, Fender Rhodes), Pahud, Emmanuel (flute), Smith, Sean (bass), Jackson, Ali (drums)

Record Label: Blue Note Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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