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What It Is (1999)

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Michael Brecker

This set is a bit of a departure for pianist Jacky Terrasson who has generally been heard in acoustic trio formats. Terrasson utilizes a variety of other musicians in larger ensembles for mostly original works (other than Ravel's "Bolero"). Among his sidemen are tenor-saxophonist Michael Brecker (who gets off a couple intense solos), flutist Jay Collins, Mino Cinelu on percussion and guitarist Adam Rodgers, among others; Xiomara Laugarts sings on "Better World," and on a few numbers, Terrasson plays a bit of electric piano. Overall, this set is open to the influences of world music and more funk-oriented jazz, yet Jacky Terrasson still sounds quite creative, explorative and individual. An intriguing program. ~ Scott Yanow