Jacky Terrasson

With “53”, his 15th record in a career that has stemmed over 30 years, the pianist Jacky Terrasson signs a magnificent collection of original pieces in the form of an intimate confession, transfigured by a kaleidoscopic “art de trio”, raised to a level of innate mastery worthy of the greatest maestros in the genre.

“Why 53? – Simply because I conceived of and recorded this music during my 53rd year and on this occasion I wanted to make a record that really reflected me. At the age of 53, a man begins to feel he has reached a form of maturity, is at his peak, and so can look at life with a certain distance and see things more clearly. With this record I wanted to give everything of myself, to take risks, while assuming my career, my artistic choices, my life … and my age! “

Jacky Terrasson isn’t holding back: “53” is a record unlike any others in his rich and prolific career. It is rather a work signalling a turning point in his life; in which the pianist dares to venture into the intimate meanders of his own story, a life story that is at once tender, soothing and insidiously melancholy, while throwing himself resolutely into the unknown with experimental new collaborations and new aesthetic gambles.

And so Jacky opens up to the world and lays himself metaphorically naked. As the leading pianist he has always been, he has personally signed the entire repertoire on this new album. “Over the years I have built up a reputation of covering pieces and thereby making them my own, through a process of formal and stylistic deconstruction that can totally renew the listener’s perception of the piece. I have always enjoyed indulging in this kind of transformation. It’s my brand, we could say, but here I wanted to break with that, by proposing a musical world directly springing from my own personal compositions. Most of them are recent and I have tried to cover the wide spectrum of my preferred references and directions. “

And the result is 16 tracks magnified by dense and precise arrangements, Terrasson takes his listeners on a tour of his musical aesthetics, multiplying the moods, styles, rhythms and references to compose a prismatic universe of astonishing coherence hidden under such festive formality. His flamboyant tribute to the pantheon of great masters (Keith Jarrett in “Kiss Jannett for Me” to Ahmad Jamal, is distilled everywhere, but especially in the opening theme “The Call” which immediately propulses the album to heights from which it never comes down!

The pianist alternates with a real sense of drama, ranging from the intimate and sentimental pieces referring to his private life (“My Lys” which immediately sounds like a timeless standard or “Resilience”, the poignant homage to his mother which gently closes the album) to more groovy and robust compositions (the very pop “This is Mine” after Chaplin’s theme “Smile”; the explosive and absolutely bop “Jump”or “Babyplum” and it’s funky rhythms), right through to the ecstatic ballad fragranced by Baudelaire (“La part des anges”), or the Mozartian paraphrase inspired (“Lacrimosa “after an excerpt of The Requiem), or even the exercise in formal style (” Palindrome “) hiding behind a sophisticated melody brimming over with an emotional power.

It was then necessary to give shape and bring to life this remarkably rich and diverse material, not only by employing the appropriate orchestral formula, but by bringing on able collaborators to explore the particular character of each theme through its colours, subtle harmonic textures, all whilst ensuring the overall aesthetic coherence of the project.

And this is the other great event of this unique album! After ten years of experimenting in the studio with varied orchestral line-ups, such as his last album “Mother”, where he formed a duet with Stéphane Belmondo, Jacky Terrasson, intent on creating an intimate balance in his latest album, “53”, made the formal choice of returning to the canonical format of a piano / bass / drums trio. Yes – the trio – Jacky’s privileged vector of musical expression since his thundering debut at the beginning of the 90s, leading the unforgettable orchestra alongside Leon Parker on drums and Ugonna Okegwo on bass. “The trio is really the ideal formula for me, the one where I feel most free and which I believe allows the richest potential in creativity between individual expression and collective interaction. What I also like is the perfect blend of tone and material: the wood and the skin of the drums, the bass string of the double bass, the ivory of the keyboard … All these materials have a special colour and feel which together form a sort of sensuality that I find very stimulating!

Initially the idea was to record the entire record together with a brand new rhythm section made up of Géraud Portal on the electric bass, associated with his old friend Ali Jackson on drums, but the pianist quickly decided to multiply the perspectives to better underline the kaleidoscopic richness of his music by introducing two other talented and previously unpublished rhythmic pairs into the project. On one hand we have Sylvain Romano on the double bass and Gregory Hutchinson on the drums, and on the other, we have Thomas Bramerie and Lukmil Perez. “I felt the need for this diversity of approach and wanted at the same time to multiply the line-ups in order to lend substance to the different facets of my compositions. But I didn’t want anyone to think I was introducing a new official trio! It wasn’t my goal and so no room for ambiguity. All the extraordinary musicians that I invited onto this album were chosen for their musicality and their ability to bring something special to what I do. In my opinion, the result is fantastic and we will see later if it leads to the forming of a new permanent orchestra … “

With his latest opus, “53”, Jacky Terrasson, excited to work with his totally invested partners, delivers all the facets of a radiant, warm, sparkling music – definitely solar! – Which, while assuming its share of gravity, melancholy and introspection, continues to base most of its qualities on the movement of energy, an explosion of rhythm, generous melodies and a living space of dialogue and conviviality that is formed in the collective creation of music. Music that has become a game. 

Tour Dates & Avails

Walter Smith III

August 5, 2019 Newport Jazz Festival
Newport, RI, USA
August 25, 2019 Da Camera
Houston, TX, USA

Steve Lehman Trio // "The People I Love" US Tour

September 19, 2019 Kuumbwa Jazz Center
Santa Cruz, CA, USA
September 20, 2019 SFJAZZ Center
San Francisco, CA, USA
September 21, 2019 Constellation
Chicago, IL, USA
September 22, 2019 Bop Stop
Cleveland, OH, USA
September 24, 2019 – September 25, 2019 Jazz Standard
New York, NY, USA
September 26, 2019 Regatta Bar
Boston, MA, USA

The Jazz Gallery All-Stars

September 1, 2020 – October 18, 2020 AVAIL Worldwide

Tigran Hamasyan

April 30, 2020 Lawrence University
Appleton, WI, USA

Theo Croker 'Star People Nation'

September 14, 2019 Lodge Room
Los Angeles, CA, USA
September 16, 2019 Springfield Technical Community College
Springfield, MA, USA
September 20, 2019 – September 21, 2019 Blue LLama
Ann Arbor, MI, USA
September 23, 2019 Dizzy's Club (Big Brother Big Band)
New York, NY, USA
October 22, 2019 CBE
Cologne, Germany
October 27, 2019 Grillo Theater
Essen, Germany
November 1, 2019 The Loft, UCSD
San Diego, CA, USA

Gerald Clayton Quartet US Tour

September 23, 2019 – September 24, 2019 Lied Center (Solo)
Lawrence, KS, USA
September 27, 2019 Monterey Jazz Festival
Monterey, CA, USA
September 28, 2019 – September 29, 2019 Moss Theatre
Los Angeles, CA, USA
October 1, 2019 Musical Instrument Museum
Phoenix, AZ, USA
October 3, 2019 The Outpost
Albuquerque, NM, USA
October 4, 2019 Santa Fe Music Collective
Santa Fe, NM, USA
October 6, 2019 Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society
Half Moon Bay, CA, USA
October 7, 2019 University of Nevada
Reno, NV, USA
October 8, 2019 The Triple Door
Seattle, WA, USA
October 10, 2019 – October 13, 2019 Jazz Standard
New York, NY, USA
October 16, 2019 Blues Alley
Washington, DC, USA
October 19, 2019 The Factory at Franklin
Franklin, TN, USA
November 20, 2019 Herb Alpert Music Center (Solo)
Los Angeles, CA, USA

Buika

August 1, 2019 Patio Theater
Chicago, IL, USA
August 3, 2019 Newport Jazz Festival
Newport, RI, USA

JD Allen

January 25, 2020 Jefferson Center
Roanoke , VA, USA

New Orleans Jazz Orchestra

September 1, 2019 Detroit Jazz Festival
Detroit, MI, USA
December 13, 2019 – December 14, 2019 JALC with René Marie
New York, NY, USA

Marcus Lewis Big Band

September 3, 2019 Des Moines Jazz Festival
Des Moines, IA, USA

Camila Meza & The Nectar Orchestra

August 4, 2019 Newport Jazz Festival
Newport, RI, USA
September 14, 2019 Lake George Jazz Festival
Lake George, NY, USA
September 28, 2019 Tempe Arts Center
Tempe, AZ, USA
October 12, 2019 Mondriaan Jazz Festival
The Hague, Netherlands
November 8, 2019 SFJAZZ
San Francisco, CA, USA
November 11, 2019 Arcata Playhouse
Arcata, CA, USA
November 15, 2019 – November 16, 2019 Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts
Los Angeles, CA, USA

Marcus Strickland 'Twi-Life'

August 4, 2019 Newport Jazz Festival
Newport, RI, USA

Joel Ross 'Good Vibes' 'Kingmaker' Release Tour

August 3, 2019 Newport Jazz Festival
Newport, RI, USA
August 30, 2019 Chicago Jazz Festival
Chicago, IL, USA
September 13, 2019 White Plains Jazz Festival
White Plains, NY, USA
October 17, 2019 Kummbwa Jazz Center
Santa Cruz, CA, USA
October 18, 2019 Vashon Center for the Arts
Vashon, WA, USA
October 19, 2019 Earshot Jazz Festival
Seattle, WA, USA
October 20, 2019 Holocene
Portland, OR, USA
October 21, 2019 Brubeck Institute
Stockton, CA, USA
October 25, 2019 BRIC Jazz Festival
Brooklyn, NY, USA
November 21, 2019 Annenberg Center
Philadelphia, PA, USA
December 29, 2019 – January 1, 2020 Umbria Winter Jazz Festival
Umbria, Italy

Sullivan Fortner Trio

July 20, 2019 – July 21, 2019 Cola Jazz Camp
Columbia, SC, USA
July 28, 2019 Woods Hole Jazz (Solo Piano)
Falmouth, MA, USA
September 19, 2019 Temple University
Philadelphia, PA, USA
September 22, 2019 – September 23, 2019 Boise Jazz Society
Boise , ID, USA
October 1, 2019 Exuberance
Philadelphia, PA, USA
October 3, 2019 – October 6, 2019 Jazz Standard
New York, NY, USA
October 26, 2019 Clermont-Ferrand
Clarmont-Ferrand, France
November 18, 2019 – November 19, 2019 Paris Philharmonie
Paris, France
December 29, 2019 – January 1, 2020 Umbria Winter Residency
Umbria, Italy

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