Roundtrip (Barking Cat) by the Alex Terrier NY Quartet, is the second CD by the Parisian-born and Brooklyn based saxophonist. Originally classically trained as a pianist, he turned to jazz when first exposed to it, with Parker, Miles, and Coltrane being initial inspirations, and later he crossed the Atlantic to study at Berklee. He has established a reputation as a saxophonist, composer and band leader on both sides of the ocean.The NY Quartet is comprised of Roy Assaf on piano, François Moutin on bass, and Steve Davis on drums with guitarists Akira Ishiguro and Edouard Brenneisen each appearing on two of the 11 tracks.
The ballad Song for Keli, shows how effective Terrier and his group is in this vein, while Le Miroir Des Anges Deguises (The Mirror of The Disguised Angels), is a poetical evocation of a famous Paris bookstore and its mirror where people leave messages for others to read as the band with shifting moods and some really intense alto and some impressionistic piano on a performance that fans of the Blue Note Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter should appreciate. Ton Coeur De Petite Fille Est Mort, is a reflective performance featuring his soprano that captures the sentiment of the title, which roughly translated is“Your Little Girl’s Heart Has Died.” A walk around the Village, with an artist friend, inspired the joyfully playful Tompkins Square with Terrier’s playing shifting from a serene melodicism to an energized ecstasy, animated in part by Brenneisen’s guitar.
This review originally appeared in the January 15-March 1, 2010 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 323). I received a review copy from a publicist. Here is Alex Terrier performing Roundtrip at Smalls in new York City.