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Mirror (2007)

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Jacky Terrasson

Since winning the Thelonious Monk Piano competition in 1993, Jacky Terrasson has more than validated the judges' opinions with a consistently outstanding series of CDs. Mirror provides a rare opportunity to enjoy Terrasson in a solo piano setting. He recasts the old favorite from the Duke Ellington songbook by mixing a different vamp, adding an ominous tremolo and even taking breaks to tap on the piano's wood surface, while never losing his focus on its theme and delivering a fresh, exciting interpretation. The choppy setting of "Just a Gigolo" is an obvious nod to Thelonious Monk (who liked to toy with this standard) though Terrasson's take is even more adventurous and playful. The pianist's romp through "Cherokee" hints only briefly at the melody, showcasing his improvising with a variation of its chord changes in the bassline. His touching setting of "America the Beautiful" suggests hope in a time of turmoil. Terrasson's five originals also prove to be memorable performances. His rapid-fire "Mirror" is breathtaking, while his "Tragic Mulatto Blues" blends a heartfelt theme with a bit of turmoil. Jacky Terrasson's Mirror leaves a lasting reflection of his immense talent.