Picks and Pans Review: Reach
One of the hottest young talents in jazz, pianist Terrasson is more a sound sculptor than a spinner of spontaneous melodic skeins. He will hit you between the eyes with an insistent trill or turn a repeated rhythmic figure into aural Shiatsu. He will kick up splashy rooster-tail chords, then sail into a pastel sunset of his own making. The French émigré, 30, comes by his penchant for prettiness honestly—he probably has as much Debussy in his veins as he has Duke.
Terrasson may be the kind of artist you either love or hate. While his talent is deep, his technique sure, his imagination, depending on your view, is either breathtaking or hyperactive and a bit flitty. Fans might say, after hearing him disassemble a standard, "Gosh, after the first few bars, I had no idea what tune he was playing." Precisely the problem, a detractor might say.
Actually the standards on Reach, Terrasson's second album, are among its strongest cuts, providing him with a sophisticated melodic armature to follow. His "I Should Care" is passionate, ruminative and quixotic. "Baby Plum," a ballad as simple as it is tender, shows him growing as a composer. Love him or hate him, there's absolutely no mistaking Terrasson for anyone else. (Blue Note)