What do Justin Beiber (“Baby”), John Lennon (“Oh My Love”), Sonny Rollins (“Valse Hot”), Erik Satie (“Je Te Veux”), and Amy Winehouse (“Rehab”) have in common? Master jazz pianist Jacky Terrason spiritedly covers their music on his latest disc. The moods range from the playful to straight and the ambiance is always cool. The Billie Holiday-esque chanteuse Cecille McLorin Salvant engagingly croons two songs with a seductive gusto. Terrasson himself keeps things moving as his self-penned composition “Try to Catch Me” implies.
It does not matter whether he’s performing other people’s songs or his own, his fingers have a light touch that turns the most serious compositions into good feelings. And the title cut “Gouache” is a tour de force that goes from 1920s New Orleans to ’50s nightclubs to ’60s avant garde to ’70s fusion to something distinctly primitive while never losing thread of the melody. Like the watercolor from which the song gets its name, the album’s musical palette is rich with colors and blendings. The surface beauty only deepens the expressiveness of Terrasson’s work.