Synthesizer, human beatbox, and Fender Rhodes. These are part of the new sound of pianist Jacky Terrasson on his new album “Take This”. “I don’t want to repeat myself…I wanted to do something completely different”, says Terrasson in the liner notes.
And so he opens the 11-song set with a joyous, uptempo “Kiff” including the beatbox of Sly Johnson. Bud Powell‘s “Un Poco Loco” is a very fast take on this classic. Something like this I had expected from Terrasson who can play furiously wild and fast, but this time around he changes from piano to Fender Rhodes. A whirlwind piece. The Paul Desmond/Dave Brubeck masterpiece “Take Five” comes in two takes here: the first one only hints at that famous melody and has a great percussion beat courtesy of Adama Diarra. The second version is a hilariously cool play between the Rhodes playing of the leader and Johnson. Again, the melody is only touched upon vaguely. I never thought I’d have so much fun listening to new versions of this gem.
There is also a very playful version of the Lennon/McCartney favorite “Come Together” with Sly Jonson and Jacky Terrasson fooling around a bit in the studio. The pianist, born in Berlin, raised in Paris, and living in New York, also has four of his own compositions here. Apart from the opening track, there is the cheerful mini opus “Dance” with piano, percussion, and beatbox. Another good-humored piece, “November”, with 6:28 minutes the longest track here, shows the bright and virtuoso playing and is somewhat the Terrasson that I was accustomed to. It also features a great bass solo by Burnis Travis. Rounding out the group is drummer Lukmil Perez.
And there is the album closer, another original piece called “Letting Go”, a gorgeously mournful poem which is pure bliss at the same time and has some of that sprinkled Rhodes thrown in. In between, he recorded a balladic, classic trio version of the Miles Davis standard “Blue In Green”, another fast and furious “Maladie d’Amour” (the Henri Salvador anthem recently recorded by singer Céline Rudolph), and a new take on the Grammy-winning record of the year in 2013, “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye featuring Kimbra, which includes a sequence of a Luiz Bonfá tune and which Jacky recorded here all by himself playing piano, percussion, synthesizer, and beatbox.
Catch Jacky’s record release shows at Dizzy’s in New York March 13th to 15th. He is also on an extended European tour between April and July playing France, Germany, Switzerland, the UK, Italy, Spain, and the Czech Republic.