Since the Marsalis regime successfully pulled off its media putsch in the early 80s, jazz has increasingly been awash in talented but overhyped young players from Terence Blanchard to Joshua Redman. Not yet 30 years old, pianist Jacky Terrasson may suffer from the same PR disease, but one listen to his impressive debut as a leader, Jacky Terrasson (Blue Note), makes him difficult to discount. Already a veteran of Art Taylor's Wailers and Betty Carter's band, he's testing his own wings now--and his fingers certainly fly. With bassist Ugonna Okegwo and remarkable drummer Leon Parker, Terrasson reworks well-roasted chestnuts like "My Funny Valentine," "Time After Time," and "I Love Paris" with a rare flair, taking each tune on a journey it's never made before. A suave, straight-ahead piano trio steeped in the light-footed, debonair tradition, they often move in unforeseen directions, capitalizing on the leader's marvelous capriciousness and startling technique. Listen, for instance, to the neat way the trio change tempo on their version of "Bye Bye Blackbird." Overeager folks are hailing Terrasson as this generation's Art Tatum or Bud Powell. He's not there yet by a long shot, but he's definitely worth keeping an ear on. Friday and Saturday, 9 and 11 PM, and Sunday, 4, 8, and 10 PM, Joe Segal's Jazz Showcase, Blackstone Hotel, 636 S. Michigan; 427-4846.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photo/Jimmy Katz - Giant Steps.