Taking the big prize '

Kenny Mathieson checks out the credentials of pianist Jacky Terrasson.

Jacky Terrasson hasn't exactly been an overnight success. but the French-American pianist is making up for any early tardiness in convincing fashion. His debut album for Blue Note. simply titled Jar/(y Termsson. is one of the freshest piano sets I‘ve heard in a while. and surely signals the maturing of a major talent.

We will get a chance to check out that impression first hand when Terrasson leads his trio for the first Jae" “"3530”: COWWWMH “all

time in Scotland. with Japancgc bassist Ugomm a black American mother. and was brought up in The Blue Note album is actually his third as leader. chgwu and drummer Leon parka. Listening to the Paris. He spent some time at Berklee College in but the first to come out here. When asked about three men interact on the album could easily Boston and then in Chicago in the late 80s. but influences. he cites Bill Evans. Thelonious Monk. convince you that they have a decade‘s collaboration returned to France to do his military service. found Bud Powell. Ahmad Jamal. Keith Jarrett and Herbie behind them‘ but in fact they go back rather less than himself at something of an impasse. and uprooted Hancock. but also throws in the name of Francis halfthm [in]c_ again to New York in 1990. l’audras. the French jazz fan who befriended Bud

twc met he,c in New York. I met Leon at 3 ‘Well. most ofthe jazz musicians are here. and there Powell in Paris. and had his role immortalist in recording session the first time. with Jesse Davis. and are many more opportunities to play. but I also felt Round Midnight. Ugonna I met hanging out at gigs at places like the that I wanted to get away from Paris. I wanted a ‘Ycah. l was friendly with his son at school. and I Village Gate and Bradleys. Working with the same change. something different Paris wasn’t exciting used to love going to their place. There were often musicians is really the only way to get a group sound enough. I‘m not talking about music now, but just my musicians around. and we would stay up late and talk it is playing together. and talking through ideas life in general. I wanted to see and do other things. I about music and hear all Francis’s stories. He has a about arrangements and different concepts that helps wanted to move. and there is a whole energy and wonderful collection ofjazz records and movies. and you to develop as a band, and not only as three rhythm of life in New York which is really exciting. he introduced me to a lot of great music that way. It individuals,' especially when you first come. I'm American was Francis who really got me hip to Bud Powell.

Terrasson finds the trio format an agreeable one. through my mother. and I felt I was missing ‘These six are all guys that I have studied a lot, but leaving plenty of room for interaction without something.‘ what I then try to do is not exactly get away from clogging up the textures too much. Space and silence His breakthrough into the tough New York scene what they do well. yeah. actually. I do try to get (‘no sound is a sound. actually. and it helps with was helped along by winning the Thelonious Monk away from what they do. I don‘t want to sound like telling a story through the music‘) are clearly Piano Competition in I993. and while he has them I want to understand them, but I try not to important in his playing. and he uses both with great reservations about the applicability of that kind of copy them. The most important thing for any precision and inventiveness. formal competition to jazz playing. it has helped him musician is to try to be himself.‘

Terrasson was born in Berlin of a French father and enormously in winning a higher profile. MCEH-lm 3- [.‘runmarkgr' Sun 9, 3pm.

i ‘lt’s nice to have something definite the mid-70s with his own quartet, and SAX 7 ,1 ' to write for, and it’s also a challenge. a highly-regarded five-piece with [ion

The problem for me is to write music Weller, while last year’s Nomad album that will be illustrative in terms of the lound him playing as well as ever.

l l commission, but at the same to ‘Fluid improvisation is all about - I. l provide something that is playing regularly. There is an l hannonically structured tor the jazz abundance of talent and spirit In this I players to get their teeth Into, and country, but they lack places to play. Saxophonist Bobby Wellins is the l which makes the most of their own I’d also like to see a lot more second Scottish composer-in- particular qualities. interaction with people from other

residence at the festival (tor trivia i tans, Tommy Smith in 1993 was the tirst). Iiis composition ‘Images of Scotland’ will be played by a Scottish All-Stars band and SYJO, but this kind I

‘I believe utterly in the importance ot areas of the arts, which is something artistic order. I’m still looking forward I’m very interested in. I had ten years to gaining more skills in writing and of addiction that was dragging me orchestration, but one of the great down - I put an end to that, and nowl things about being involved in music may not always do things exactly as I

of writing Is not new tor him. He was is that there is always something new would want in my lite, but I know that the saxophonist on Stan Tracey’s i g to learn.’ I’" "8'!" '8‘ "1158" I3" that '0‘" “WWI” Under Milk 57001130 years g; Wellins established himselt on the again.’ (Kenny Mathieson)

390. and his own works include j ‘5'5‘ 60s London scene, but his career was

extended pieces like Birds 0! Brazil or g , _ _ . , . g E eclipsed for almost a decade by Mcgwan's old Fmimme,’ F” 7’ “made” "on" I 3°be Wellins: torsion artistic order personal problems. He re-emerged in 7.30pm.

16 The List 30 Jun-l3 Jul I995