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Jacky Terrasson

Originally hailed as one of the bright young lions on the straight-ahead jazz scene of the 1990s, virtuoso pianist Jacky Terrasson developed into a sophisticated performer with eclectic stylistic taste. Beginning with his self-titled 1995 debut for Blue Note Records, Terrasson drew high praise from all corners of the jazz world. His feathery keyboard touch is coupled with a lot of power and passion, and a complete understanding of the blues and improvisation, and Terrasson is also a gifted arranger, putting his own personal stamp on well-known tunes. He's been one of the jazz world's most talked-about piano player/composers since he captured everyone's attention when he won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 1993.

Born in Berlin to a French mother and an American father, Terrasson's distinctive piano style reflects his old and new influences. In his youth, he spent years studying and listening to recordings by Bud Powell, Bill Evans, and Thelonious Monk. He began playing piano at age five, and his parents were always playing classical music on the stereo. At age 11, he began listening intently to the Billie Holiday and Miles Davis records that belonged to his mother, and at that point he was hooked on playing jazz piano. He studied jazz at the Berklee College of Music in Boston with many other new traditionalists as classmates, including people like Danilo Perez. After graduation, he spent a year jamming at clubs in Chicago and New York before hooking up with ensembles led by his mentors, including Arthur Taylor and Betty Carter. The vocalist told him she needed a pianist to begin a tour the next day, and he accepted, spending nearly a year on the road with her.

Among many other sessions, Terrasson performed on Jimmy Scott's 1996 release, Heaven, for Warner Bros. He also did arranging for that record. Terrasson continued to perform around the world as leader of his own trio, and has made several European and Japanese tours. He's one of the most sought-after sidemen in jazz, constantly in demand for touring jazz bands and recording dates. On his 1996 sophomore effort, Reach, he's ably backed by the same musicians who accompanied him on his debut: bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Leon Parker. Rendezvous followed in 1997, and a year later he returned with Alive.

Released in 1999, What It Is emphasized Terrasson's compositional skills as well as his technique. A Paris, an homage to Terrasson's hometown, followed two years later. In 2002 he delivered Smile, a companion piece of sorts to A Paris. He then moved away from ensemble work with his 2007 solo piano album Mirror. Terrasson released the lively trio album Push in 2010, and he returned in 2012 with the eclectic album Gouache, featuring a handful of guest artists including clarinetist Michel Portal, trumpeter Stephane Belmondo, vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant (winner of the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition), and others. In 2015 Terrasson made his Impulse! Records debut with Take This, which featured a collaboration with vocalist/beatboxer Sly Johnson, among others. ~ Richard Skelly
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Mirror

1. Caravan

2. Juvenile

3. Just A Gigolo

4. You've Got A Friend

5. Little Red Ribbon

6. Tragic Mulatto Blues

7. America The Beautiful

8. Cherokee

9. Everything Happens To Me

10. Mirror

11. Go Round

x

Track List: Smile

1. Parisian Thoroughfare

2. Mo Better Blues

3. Smile

4. Sous Le Ciel De Paris

5. Isn't She Lovely

6. The Dolphin

7. Nardis

8. Autumn Leaves

9. My Funny Valentine

10. 59

x

Track List: A Paris...

1. Plaisir D'Amour

2. Les Chemins De L'Amour

3. Jeux Interdits

4. A Paris

5. I Love Paris In The Springtime

6. Que Reste-t'il De Nos Amours?

7. Ne Me Quitte Pas

8. La Vie En Rose

9. Nantes

10. La Marseillaise

11. Rue Des Lombards

12. L'aigle Noir

13. I Love You More

14. Metro

x

Track List: Jacky Terrasson

1. I Love Paris

2. Just A Blues

3. My Funny Valentine

4. Hommage A Lili Boulanger

5. Bye Bye Blackbird

6. He Goes On A Trip

7. I Fall In Love Too Easily

8. Time After Time

9. For Once In My Life

10. What A Difference A Day Made

11. Cumba's Dance

Comments

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Instantly recognized this masterpiece from the Spike Lee classic of the same name...never heard this version before...lov e l y and lyrical...de f i n i t e l y want to buy this...aways have heard great things about Jacky Terrasson!
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teflondon0
A real sensuality about his expression.
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Sensitivity of Bill Evans this man's music can melt away bad day, allowing you to create any day you wish that's soulful music, M. Kammerer, Southfield , MI
Report as inappropriate
the sensitivity is there and the touch, like Evans, but beware of copying your hero. Genius is not born often.. Beautiful however!
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the sensitivity of Evans is there
Report as inappropriate
Smooth and sooo tranquil...e x c e l l e n t mood music for that "special" occasion.
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Kool keyboard man --with great restaint & delicacy -ergo very seductive
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Bill Evans could have said to Jacky Terrasson what Bix Beiderbecke said to Jimmy McPartland: I like you, kid. You sound like me but you don't copy me.
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Who has a better touch or more sensitive feel than Jacky Terrasson?.. . g o o s e b u m p s ! !
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kagoon0709
love it
Report as inappropriate
Awesome!
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saiidparker
One of the best song's ever!
Report as inappropriate
Nice!
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kellyjerine
1st time I ever heard Jacky & I love him!
Report as inappropriate
Very nice touch!
Report as inappropriate
nice
Report as inappropriate
sdaniel3
I love his sound... does he have a holiday album?
Report as inappropriate
Very smooth, but with a little bit of attitude. Good blend of both.
Report as inappropriate
queenquibbie
I thought I was listening to Vince Geraldi. He' got a beautiful touch

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