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What It Is


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Audio CD, May 18, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Jacky Terrasson has built a reputation as a lean and mean pianist with the ability to inject lightening bolts of energy into his work. On What It Is, however, Terrasson has taken a decidedly different direction. Rather than calling on his excellent trio, he has chosen to flesh out his band with the addition of everything from flute to guitar to harmonica. While this certainly allows Terrasson to flex his arranging muscles, many of these compositions feel watered down and lacking the intensity and exploration that has been his trademark on previous work. The opening track, "Sam's Song," sways with a 1970s feel that's part fusion, part smooth. The following cut, "What's Wrong with You," picks up the pace, as Terrasson and saxophonist Michael Brecker blaze through a note-burner that highlights Terrasson's remarkable speed and dexterity. Terrasson's curious, harmonica-led take on Pink Floyd's "Money" is slightly interesting, but gets bogged down by languid pacing, while a stab at Ravel's "Bolero" misses the mark entirely. The rest of the LP is a hodgepodge of different styles--touches of Latin and fusion fill out the sound, but don't do enough to add that crucial Terrasson spark to the work. --S. Duda

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Sam's Song 7:27$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. What's Wrong With You! 5:58$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Little Red Ribbon 5:20$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Better World 3:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Toot-Toot's Tune 6:31$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Money 4:44$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Le Roi Basil 8:34$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Baby Plum 5:47$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Ravel: Bolero 6:35$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 18, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol/Emi/Sbk/Chrysalis
  • ASIN: B00000IWUZ
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #402,718 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Biography

Jacky Terrasson is an internationally renowned Franco-American pianist, composer and bandleader, who recorded his debut as a leader in 1992. The following year, he won the Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition then toured with the legendary Betty Carter, both of which propelled him to the top echelon of the jazz world. In addition to releasing 10 memorable albums on Blue Note Records ... Read more in Amazon's Jacky Terrasson Store

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 3, 1999
Format: Audio CD
What I like so much about this effort is how Jacky's edge and exploration still stand out with the bigger line-up. His piano and arranging have the authority to take new influences and really make them fly. I never wanted to hear another Bolero again...until I heard his. But it's his work on keys, with some unexpectedly fine electric piano here, that always pleases. Impatient and brilliant, complex yet highly listenable, he's the real thing. Homogenized playlists at "world" music radio stations could use an injection of what he's done on this disc to wake up the ears they're wearing out through repetition.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 13, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I think this is a great album. I give Jacky kudos for breathing new life into his work. If you've seen Jacky perform in concert, you'll understand perfectly what he's trying to achieve with this latest album. With this new album, he's not afraid to go out on the limb and try new sounds. He's already proven that he's an accomplished pianist with his previous albums. It's refreshing to see him try something new, and on top of that, excel at it. BTW - I think he does a great rendition of Ravel's Bolero.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Frank Cohen on June 10, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I will confirm the amazon.com reviewer's description with the exception that the rendition of Bolero is more charming than he claims. The new quintet ensemble and the tunes from the CD are impressive live, which is why I bought the CD at the venue of the show. However, the album is a letdown. The one vocal tune the only true dud of the album because the singer has one of the most irritaing voices I have ever heard. She sounds like Jimmy Scott with a really bad cold.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful By nathan on January 10, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is a surprisingly poor showing from a remarkable talent. Cheesy and meandering, with the scattered flashes of brilliance only adding insult to injury. And I actually like JT's rhodes playing a quite a bit, so this is not just a hardline anti-fusion perspective. First of all, will someone please hide Mino Cinelu's chimes next time he enters the studio? His incessant and tasteless use of this already questionable device is totally gratuitous, and adds considerably to the cloying quality of much of What It Is.
An additional warning to any prospective buyers: be advised, several tunes feature a harmonica/flute front line...draw your own conclusions.
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