ORIGIN early 17th cent.: via French from Italian gazzetta, originally gazeta de la novità (because the news-sheet sold for a gazeta, a Venetian coin of small value)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Jacky Terrasson Trio in DC

Jacky Terrasson, jazz pianist extraordinaire, came to Washington, DC, this weekend for a two-night gig at Bohemian Caverns. A friend and I sat mesmerized and enraptured on Friday night while he and his trio played two unbelievable sets, and when we left sometime after midnight, we were as happy and satisfied as though we had just eaten a seven-course meal! The next morning, I sent an email to 50 friends in DC, telling them that if they were looking for an evening of unbridled joy and amazement, they'd better get themselves down to U Street to hear this absolutely innovative and multi-talented French-American phenomenon who, along with dreamy double bassist Ben Williams (who hails from DC) and genius drummer Justin Faulkner, two young talents who complete the trio, would knock their socks off.

 Quel grand cœur, cet artiste innovateur et passionné

How shall I describe this music and this moment? Words like muscular, percussive, joyful, invigorating, funny, tender, powerful, surprising, lively, delicate and innovative all come to mind. And Jacky is playful, and if I may say so, often times teases his audience. I don't know the names of all the tunes, but here's what I recognized. From Billie Holiday's Lover Man to Charlie Chaplin's Smile, from My Funny Valentine to what I think was a re-working of the Mission Impossible theme mixed in with some licks from Dave Brubeck's Take Five, from a deliciously funkadelic rendition of Cole Porter's Love For Sale to a wonderfully sensual Besame Mucho, from the familiar Harry Potter theme intertwined with Michael Jackson's Beat It to a version of Caravan preceded by a long riff by the bassist in a minor key with mid-eastern overtones that somehow had traces of Chameleon woven in - all four sets totally seduced the audiences! And there was that ending (don't know the name-if someone does, let me know!) that had the audience snapping their fingers with the help of the fab drummer in a kind of gospel-like Amen! to the whole evening.

On Saturday night, I went back (!), and fortunately, other friends and family showed up. After the performance, my son (who plays jazz piano) made the following comment: Ça plairait à Monk…" (Monk would be happy). When I asked why, he said that Monk was all about the humor in jazz. These three musicians seem to be in a state of bliss when they play, exuding joy as they collaborate and make art. I told all three of them after the performance that their art makes the world a happier place, and that we counted on them to keep it up. Bravo!

Here's hoping that the Jacky Terrasson Trio will be back in Washington before long!

Pour la petite histoire : Jacky paraît dans « Jazz Band » et joue un rôle important dans le cheminement de Margot, jeune pianiste française, atterrie à New York.


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