Ignasi Terraza Trio: Bangkok, October 12, 2011

Ian Patterson By

Sign in to view read count
Ignasi Terazza Trio
The Living Room,
October 12, 2011

Pianist/composer Ignasi Terraza knows what he likes and is not to be swayed by the dictates of fashion; so it was that this refined yet exciting pianist—supported by double bassist Pierre Boussaguet and drummer Esteve Pi—treated the Living Room to a high-class exhibition of swing and bop-infused virtuosity, honed from nearly thirty years immersed in the jazz tradition. It was also a return to the venue where the same trio recorded Live at the Living Room, Bangkok (Swit Records, 2011) just a year earlier, and the set was made up of much of the same material as then.

The first set showcased originals for the most part, and Terraza's swinging style, firmly rooted in the old school tradition, contained the elegance and exceptional fluidity of pianists Oscar Peterson and early period Ahmad Jamal. The influence of Jamal's lighter touch was particularly notable on the early bars of "An Emotional Dance," though Pi's gradually more insistent drumming and the pianist's long, tumbling lines altered the mood of the piece considerably. Boussaguet felt every note of his way on an extended, lyrical bass solo, and, as the trio reunited and upped the pace, Terraza revealed his technical prowess in a compelling solo full of blues and melodic flair.

Whether on a slower number like Maria Mendez Grever's "What a Difference a Day Makes" or livelier fare such as another original, "Tempo Cambia," and saxophonist Charlie Parker's classic bop workout "Ornithology," Terraza's trio swung, with the leader's sure, inventive play always to the fore. On the first set-closer, "Rain Falling," Boussaguet's fast walking bass line gave way to a compelling improvisation. An active player—though never too busy—Boussaguet's probing and imaginative accompaniment provided intuitive counterpoint to Terraza, and an even keel.

A broader musical palette colored the second set, with calypso, bossa nova and Catalan folk flavors all following the bop opener, "Night is Coming." On this number, Terraza's terrific one-handed solo danced merrily, leaning between the blues of pianists Wynton Kelly and Thelonious Monk. It was a hard act to follow, but Boussaguet and Pi both impressed when it was their turn, though there was a curious lack of bass pedal in Pi's vocabulary throughout the evening.

The subtlest interaction of the evening took place on Rodgers and Hart's "Isn't it Romantic?," which could almost have been a tribute to Jamal at his most elegant—clearly a strong reference for Terraza. Blues permeates Terraza's playing, though the obvious vehicle of Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Garrel's "Georgia on My Mind" was given a very personal interpretation, his bold chords and stride-like figures bringing the song to a boil.

Large swathes of Thailand have suffered the worst flooding in half a century, and with Bangkok threatened shop keepers were preparing for the worst, building cement walls in front of their shop entrances. However, from the safety of the second floor of the Sheraton Grande Hotel, which houses The Living Room, thoughts of flooding were momentarily suspended as Terraza's delightful calypso, "Under the Sun"—with Pi particularly lively—transported those in the club to Caribbean climes.

On Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Corcovado" and a snappy, swinging version of Cole Porter's "Night and Day" the trio was joined by Singaporean vocalist Michelle Chua, a confident singer with a clean tone who demonstrated clear fondness for the material. Catalan composer Federico Mompou's "Canco numero 6" was a grooving, bluesy interpretation of a traditional folk piece. "Oscar's Will"—a Scott Joplin-esque tribute to Canadian jazz piano legend Oscar Peterson—saw Terraza racing up and down his keys at dizzying speed. Pi delivered a blistering solo in reply before the trio closed out.

Ignasi Terraza may look to the past for inspiration, but his interpretations of classic material and his own compositions tell very personal stories. A wonderful technician capable of great finesse and powerful, crashing waves, Terraza's improvisations never neglect the blues nor do they ever forget to swing. This concert underlined Terraza's status as a pianist worthy of far greater attention, and this trio as one of the most swinging on the Old Continent. It also underlined The Living Room's reputation as the premier venue in Bangkok for quality jazz. Terraza and The Living Room go well together, and hopefully it won't be too long before the trio and venue are reunited.


Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Match&Fuse Dublin 2017 Live Reviews Match&Fuse Dublin 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Antonio Sanchez Group at Jazz Standard Live Reviews Antonio Sanchez Group at Jazz Standard
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2017
Read WOMAD 2017 Live Reviews WOMAD 2017
by Martin Longley
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Punkt Festival 2017 Live Reviews Punkt Festival 2017
by Henning Bolte
Published: September 17, 2017
Read Gary Clark, Jr. and Jimmie Vaughan at the Iridium Live Reviews Gary Clark, Jr. and Jimmie Vaughan at the Iridium
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: September 16, 2017
Read 38th Annual Detroit Jazz Festival Live Reviews 38th Annual Detroit Jazz Festival
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: September 15, 2017
Read "Teresa Salgueiro at the Bitola World Music Festival" Live Reviews Teresa Salgueiro at the Bitola World Music Festival
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 9, 2016
Read "The Comet Is Coming at Black Box" Live Reviews The Comet Is Coming at Black Box
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 8, 2017
Read "The Billy Hart Quartet at the 21c Museum Hotel" Live Reviews The Billy Hart Quartet at the 21c Museum Hotel
by Joseph Boselovic
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "Stockholm Jazz Festival 2016" Live Reviews Stockholm Jazz Festival 2016
by John Ephland
Published: November 14, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.