How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Collaboration means working together toward the same goal. Stefon Harris & Jacky Terrasson have a lot in common, and their collaboration seems quite natural. Vibraphone, piano, bass and drums leave a pleasant combination of timbres that is at once familiar and fresh. Responding to each other, the duo creates a fourhanded affair. Their partnership is particularly gracious on the two pieces in which bass and drums lay out. As if the two artists share one instrument, they create lyrical phrases simultaneously. Both employ dynamic shadings that raise and lower the volume as musical punctuation. Ballads and up-tempo romps drive the session. Each contributes an original to the program. Whether interpreting standards or presenting their own compositions, Harris and Terrasson weave impressive concepts seamlessly. The pianist's percussive tang builds phrases systematically, while the vibraphonist's rounded strokes serve to color with impressionism. Their collaboration on "Body and Soul" leaves no doubts about the forward-leaning approach each has chosen to follow. The familiar chestnut has never sounded so fresh. "Never Let Me Go," on the other hand, follows tradition. Cascades from vibes and piano embellish its beautiful melody without venturing too far from the norm. Throughout their recommended collaboration, Harris and Terrasson honor the tradition of jazz without recycling it. Their creative spirit brings a promise of growth in the new year.
Track Listing: My Foolish Heart; Tank's Tune; Summertime; D