Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Pianist/composer Jacky Terrasson makes his Impulse! label debut with the release of Take This, a new album that captures the quintessence of his multifaceted musical makeup, drawing upon modern post-bop, pop, hip-hop, European classical, African & Afro-Caribbean rhythms & melodies. Terrasson will celebrate with performances at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Jazz Lincoln Center in NYC Mar 13-15. Further tour dates to be announced shortly. Will be featured in Downbeat, JazzTimes & NY Jazz Observer.
Personnel: Jacky Terrasson (piano, Fender Rhodes piano); Sly Johnson (vocals); Burniss Earl Travis II (double bass, electric bass); Lukmil Pérez (drums); Adama Diarra (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Philippe Gaillot.
Liner Note Author: Dan Ouellette.
Recording information: Recall Studios, France (09/08/2014-09/11/2014).
Photographer: Philippe Levy-Stab.
Pianist Jacky Terrasson's Impulse! Records debut, 2015's Take This, is a sophisticated showcase for his virtuoso jazz chops and eclectic musical taste. Following up his 2012 effort, Gouache, Take This finds Terrasson investigating a mix of originals and unexpected covers, many of which are infused with a strong African and Cuban rhythmic influence. Supplying much of this rhythmic intensity is Terrasson's adventurous outfit featuring bassist Burniss Travis, drummer Lukmil Perez, and Malian percussionist Adama Diarra. Together, this group is responsible for many of the album's brightest moments, with updates of such classic jazz piano numbers as Bud Powell's "Un Poco Loco," and Miles Davis' "Blue and Green," to name a few. Also collaborating with Terrasson here is French vocalist/beatboxer Sly Johnson. A soulful, gifted singer with a bent toward throaty R&B, Johnson broke through in Paris as a member of the hip-hop act Saian Supa Crew, as well as performing with established jazz artists such as trumpeter Erik Truffaz. Here, he lends his vocals, as well as his unique human beatbox technique, to several tracks, often blending his various vocal pops and ticks into the rhythm section just as any percussionist might do. It's a nifty concept that works best when Johnson is out-front on cuts like the opening "Kiff" and an inspired duo reworking of the Beatles' "Come Together," where Johnson brings to mind the similarly inclined rhythmic vocal jazz of Bobby McFerrin and Al Jarreau. Elsewhere, Terrasson and his pan-global ensemble deliver engaging takes on Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know," the Paul Desmond-penned Dave Brubeck classic "Take Five," and a buoyant rendition Henri Salvador's Caribbean-infused "Maladie D'Amour." ~ Matt Collar