Jacky Terrasson at Bohemian Caverns

» Posted by on Sep 18, 2013 in Concerts, Jazz Piano | 0 comments

Jacky Terrasson at Bohemian Caverns

The gig Tessa and I had scheduled for last Saturday night got cancelled, so we took the opportunity to visit the local jazz scene in a new-to-us venue, where a new-to-us jazz pianist was playing. His name is Jacky Terrasson, and he recently won the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition.

His playing was indeed remarkable. It seemed to us to be quite engaging and accessible, especially for those non jazz lovers, while also wowing us constantly with complicated and intricate jazz tricks.

In a show that lasted about an hour (plus a 10-minute encore), we heard 5 or 6 songs. The first was Besame Mucho, and like the arrangements that followed, went through several different variations and interpretations … jazzy trio feel, to slow and pensive, to some sort of Latin fusion… weaving in and out of the traditional definition of jazz. But that’s what jazz is all about.

Oh, and I should mention the fantastic solos. The drummer (who we couldn’t see very well) probably went through three sets of sticks on his spicy and omplex Besame solo, and later on the bass took off for several minutes playing multiple notes in tight harmony with what must have been double stops or harmonics – I’ve never heard anything like it. The piano solos were brimming full of flavor and brilliance, and I managed to identify a few Jackyisms:

  • Playing the solo line two octaves apart, dexterously using the left hand pinky and fourth finger on the melody while still managing to hit some chord tones in the middle
  • A lot of attention to space
  • A cool trick in which he builds the whole trio’s momentum up towards a single point, and just before getting there he stops playing and comes back in on the downbeat with something huge and immediately takes off to the next part of his solo

Overall, the show was very entertaining and educational (for us, anyway) and leaves me with several new ideas to explore in my own playing.

by Jay Frost

Jacky Terrasson at DC's Bohemian Caverns

Our view of Jacky Terrasson

Jacky Terrasson and his jazz trio

We could see his hands very well!

Jacky Terrasson with Jay Frost

I caught up with him after the show and said “bon soir!”