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There's no lack of variety on pianist Jacky Terrasson's debut for Concord Records. With his trio and special guests, Terrasson generates a multihued program, featuring jazz-funk, spunky bop and cleverly envisioned ballads, such as Thelonious Monk's timeless classic, "Ruby My Dear."
On this piece, Terrasson and harmonica ace Gregoire Maret share the lead via sweet-toned passages and a capacious backdrop that elicits imagery of a sultry breeze. The soloists caress and rephrase the familiar theme into a gradually ascending balladry, seasoned with subtly enacted choruses and animated voicings. During the bridge, Maret surges in linear fashion amid lushly phrased high-notes, complemented by the pianist's lyrically resplendent block chords. The band also initiates a few minor variations of the composition's inherent structural elements. With "Ruby My Dear," Terrasson spins an impressionistic and nouveau vista on a beloved jazz standard.
Track Listing: Gaux Girl; Beat It/Body and Soul; Ruby My Dear; Beat Bop; 'Round Midnight; Morning; My Church; Say Yeah; You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To; Carry Me Away; O Café, O Soliel.
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
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