Ever since Jacky Terrasson burst onto the jazz scene in 1993 by winning the Thelonius Monk Piano Competition, the Berlin-born, Paris-raised, New York-based pianist extraordinaire has consistently recorded richly refined and remarkably free-spirited music. His new disc, "Push", features a new working trio that includes recent Monk Competition winner Ben Williams on bass, Jamire Williams on drums, and a handful of special guests including Gregoire Maret on harmonica and Jacques Schwarz-Bart on sax. It includes seven new Terrasson compositions as well as a sampling of fresh spins on standards, including two Monk tunes and a Cole Porter beauty.
Hot Club of Detroit may be inspired by the spirit of Django Reinhardt, but with the release of "It's About That Time", the band pushes the boundaries of what was once just called Gypsy Jazz. From the blistering fretwork of their homage to Pat Martino and Miles Davis, to their subtle reworking of Chopin's "Tristesse," it's obvious that HCOD is widening its influences, and forging ahead to carve out their own niche in the jazz world and beyond. As well, in this Centennial year of Django's birth, everything from local appreciation societies to larger national music magazines and shows-on and offline-are certain to mark the Django heritage.
Also this week, guitarist John Basile presents a soulful organ-based collection of standards, originals, Latin, and '70s pop tunes with "No Apologies"; award-winning singer Catherine Russell, the daughter of Louis Armstrong's music director Luis Russell, releases her third CD as leader, "Inside This Heart of Mine"; and Indianapolis-born, Chicago-based trumpeter, composer and educator Pharez Whitted assembled a stellar sextet comprised of his favorite musicians from both cities for his long-awaited third release, "Transient Journey."