Alex Terrier
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Alex Terrier

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Premiers pas new-yorkais d’une "Jazz revelation"
24 février 2008
Auteur(e) :
Sandra Naigeon
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New Yorkais depuis peu, le jeune saxophoniste français Alexandre Terrier vient tenter sa chance dans la capitale du jazz. Il est en concert les 8, 14, 15 et 28 mars à Brooklyn et Astoria.

A 27 ans, le jeune saxophoniste français Alex Terrier commence à se faire une place dans le milieu du jazz new yorkais. La carrière de musicien d’Alex est née du hasard. Alors qu’il n’a que 5 ans, ses parents récupèrent un vieux piano. Intrigué, c’est seul qu’Alex découvre la musique. Il ira au conservatoire. Trois ans plus tard, lors d’un festival dans le sud de la France, Alex est séduit par le Big Band de Claude Bolling. Emballé par la musique jazz, Alex, 8 ans, a soudain un rêve, devenir saxophoniste. C’est rapidement chose faite. Le jeune musicien signe ses premières compositions vers l’âge de 14 ans, puis étudie au prestigieux Lycée de Sèvres avant de partir réaliser son rêve de l’autre côté de l’Atlantique.

Chaque année, le Berklee College of Music de Boston auditionne à travers le monde de jeunes musiciens et attribue des bourses. Excellent élève, Alex rejoint très vite le label de l’école américaine, Jazz Revelation Record et crée son propre quintet avec notamment George Garzone, saxophoniste américain renommé. En 2007 il sort son premier album en leader « Stop requested », accueilli par une critique enthousiaste. Comme tout jazzman, le jeune français est influencé par le son américain des grands classiques, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis mais sa musique reste moderne, « Alex peint le futur en gardant une oreille sur le passé » commente le George Garzone. En septembre 2007, diplômé, il débarque à New York, « la migration naturelle » vers la capitale mondiale du jazz pour continuer une carrière qui promet d’être belle. Alex a beaucoup d’autres projets, notamment l’enregistrement d’un nouvel album plus électro-jazz, "sous réserve de financements". -

""Stop Requested" Review"

Saxophonist George Garzone has high praise for his protégé Alex Terrier, and indeed the young saxophonist exhibits many of the same qualities associated with his one-time teacher: a compelling logic in the construction of his long solos accompanied by a ready recourse to the outer reaches of the vocabulary that both players have inherited from John Coltrane. That Garzone himself is part of the quintet on five of the nine tracks of Terrier's début is welcome news, even if it's not always clear who's soloing. The liner notes duly spell out who plays which saxophone on each track, but even this level of information cannot answer all your questions; both players trade phrases on soprano on Garzone's “There's Snow Place Like Home,” and I a challenge you to determine who's who.
The band seems to be having an especially good time on “Green Dolphin Street.” Firmly on familiar ground, the group delights in stretching the well-known tune's familiarity almost to its breaking point. The arrangement, the timekeeping and the soloing are complex and playful at the same time. Pianist Michel Reis picks up an idea from the closing notes of Garzone's solo and builds it into a thoughtful and closely argued solo of his own.
The appearance of Terrier, a bright new talent in Garzone's mold, and the generous presence of Garzone on several tracks would more than justify Stop Requested, but there is more to recommend the disc. The rhythm section, particularly Reis and drummer Nick Falk, have that bright but weighty power that calls to mind the McCoy Tyner/Elvin Jones axis of the last few Coltrane recordings on Atlantic (say, Coltrane's Sound, from 1960). Listen to them, for example, in the long trio build-up to the closing “There's Snow Place Like Home.”
The master-plus-apprentice front line, backed by a truly ass-kicking pre-Love Supreme (Impulse!, 1964) rhythm section, is a winning combination that lends coherence to the entire record.
Beginning the set with the more self-consciously groove-laden “Silsila,” with Reis on electric piano, is a bit of a feint, but sounds great and complements the other tracks with acoustic piano.
All goes frotingm one thrilling climax to another; this is energetic playing throughout. It's temp to paraphrase, clumsily, the disc's title, and request that this young saxophonist not stop, not for a long time.
- By Jeff Dayton-Johnson, All About Jazz

""Stop Requested" Review (French)"

“He is 27, graduated from Berklee and had some of the best masters. One of them being on this album, George Garzone (on more than half of the tracks), is not going to spoil our pleasure. The rest of the band is great too, as cosmopolite as can be a class in Berklee, with a rhythm section as tight as open (Luxembourgian pianist Michel Reis 2nd place at the Martial Solal Competition in 2006, Korean bassist Hogyu Hwang and American drummer Nick Falk), with two guests as much talented. The leader plays with an energetic lyricism that will with no doubt gain a sense of space and poetry. The young saxophonist composes with great elegance, with counter lines, colors and loops like on the opening track that suggest Alex Terrier listened to the music of David Binney”. - Jazzman

""Stop Requested" Review (French)"

Here is an exemplary album. One could even say exemplary from Berklee College of Music where Alex Terrier has studied. That to say that from only the technical aspect there is nothing to complain about. Furthermore, this album has the support, on 5 tracks out of 9, of George Garzone, a giant of the tenor saxophone. It is even curious not to hear first this Stop Requested that gives the title to the album and to which one would rather want to say “encore !”: hell of a tempo, sonority that reminds McLean, energy and fougue perfectly mastered. Alex Terrier plays the 3 main saxophones and he won’t mind me to say I prefer him on the alto. And I must acknowledge the diversity of those 6 compositions and climates –this Praise in two parts, with acoustic guitar and vibraphone is very surprising and fresh. We can hear again the originality of the young saxophonist in a novatrice arrangement of On Green Dolphin Street. The conclusive duo Garzone-Terrier should give the club owners the will to book him and to the fans of supersonic jazz to come listen to him”. - Jazzmag

""Stop Requested" Review (French)"

Alex Terrier (1980, Paris) doesn’t lack of determination: pianist, he picks up the sax, wins competitions, the Lavoisier scholarship and go to study at Berklee College of Music. He meets Joe Lovano and George Garzone. On this debut album he is with fellow musicians from Boston. His music is volcanic and his saxophone playing is in the mold of Coltrane, in the same vein as Vincent Herring and Kenny Garrett. “Praise” presents a first part that is more peaceful and second part with a soprano that makes me think of Dave Liebman. Energy and musicality are there, even though the knowledge practiced in this music lacks necessarily of simplicity. That is anyway a perfect example of the contemporary jazz, with the inspired support of George Garzone as a guest. I regret there is no blues but that is an impressive album”. Jean Szlamowicz, Jazz Hot - Jazz Hot

""Stop Requested" Review (French)"

Aphrodite APH106006-4
Durée : 1h 8’ 13’’

Quand un musicien français, en l’occurrence le saxophoniste (ts, ss, as) Alex Terrier, fait le voyage pour les States et suit les cours de la Berklee, voici ce que ça peut donner. Pas un jazz anémié, ni un jazz chercheur de modernité à tout prix comme savent l’enseigner certains conservatoires, voire certains mentors, hexagonaux. Plongé dans le jazz américain de la côte Est, le jeune Alex Terrier nous sort un disque qui a une pêche typiquement new-yorkaise, une énergie que beaucoup pourraient lui envier. Sur des compositions personnelles, excepté le célèbre «On Green Dolphin Street» et un morceau de George Garzone, il joue un jazz rentre-dedans qui fait plaisir. Le grand George Garzone (ts, ss) lui donne la réplique sur la moitié des airs. Retenez son nom, il ira loin.

Michel Bedin - Prestige Audio Video

"Little band with a big sound"

On Portamental, the band have gotten even freer with form. Bassist Jef Charland and drummer Chris Punis are also writing. (Original bassist Edward Perez left after the first CD.) Punis’s “Ugly Hand” mixes 6/4 and 5/4 with an obsessive riff that could be out of Steve Lacy or Anthony Braxton. (“Very hard to play,” Voelker assures me.) And Charland’s “Portamental” alternates free solo sections with portamenti (thus the title) by Yennior and Charland, the former’s trombone sliding up and down like a sci-fi theremin, Voelker playing a glissy alto like a noir blues in the fog.

The collective spirit of Gypsy Schaeffer (their name is a nod to a famed New Orleans “sportin’ house” that featured music by Jelly Roll Morton and Sidney Bechet) and their distinctive group sound also set them apart — they’re not a star soloist with a band, “not someone’s project,” as Voelker says. “We collaborate on the arrangements,” Charland says after their set at the Firehouse. “That gives us all authorship of the tunes.”

It’s almost distressing the number of first-rate musicians who continue to pour out of the local music schools — what will happen to them all? To wit: The New Old School, the fourth CD on Berklee’s student-run Jazz Revelation Records. On the opening track, the up-tempo “Stop Requested,” alto-saxophonist Alex Terrier tears through the changes with the power and articulation of Kenny Garrett born anew. Singer Sara Serpa matches a light, floating voice with incisive phrasing and dead-on natural pitch in Francisco Ferro’s “Boiled Water,” an eventful narrative for 10-piece band. Percussionist Marcelo Woloski and bassist Andres Rotmistrovsky in their band Tantanakuy tweak pan-American folk and pop with their own attractive big-jazz-band moves. And guitarist Jake Hertzog’s varied, spare attack and knotty writing take jazz-rock fusion in yet another provocative direction. Hertzog and Tantanakuy celebrate the release of the Berklee CD with a free show at the Beehive in the South End this Tuesday. - The Phoenix


"Rhetoric" (2008 Akira Ishiguro)

"Common Ground" (2008 Jazz Revelation Records)

"Stop Requested" (2007 Aphrodite-Records)

"New Work" (2007 Mitz's)

"Half a year in half an hour" (2007 Scheidt)

"New Old School" (2006 Jazz Revelation Records)

"Ars Nova" (2005 Jazz Revelation Records)

"Group Saloum" (2005 Lamine Toure)



Alex Terrier was born on September 25 1980 in Paris, France. He started studying classical piano at a very early age and did his first public appearance at age 9. When he turned 12, Alex Terrier discovered the saxophone and the music of Jazz with recordings of great American giants Duke Ellington, Memphis Slim, Fats Domino, Louis Armstrong and Sydney Bechet. His first approach of composition was by writing music for his mother’s paintings, and he signed his first works at age 14.

Alex Terrier has started classical saxophone in the conservatory with Benoit Collinet. His first Jazz teacher, Patrice Quentin, recognized his great motivation and talent and hired him a few years later in his professional band.
At age 16, Alex Terrier won the 4th prize of the “European Saxophone Competition” in the city of Gap, France. Then he decided to focus on the study of Jazz and its American roots. In Paris, he studied saxophone with Sylvain Beuf (Gordon Beck, Andy Emler, Martial Solal, Henri Texier, Aldo Romano…) and Andre Villeger (Duke Ellington, Claude Bolling, Henri Salvador…), Jazz theory and harmony with Bernard Maury (Max Roach, Franck Morgan, Michel Legrand…) and Arrangement with Pierre Bertrand .

In 1999 Alex Terrier obtained his High School Music Diploma from the very selective Lycee de Sevres. Then he formed his first band as a leader with trombonist Michael Joussein and performed in the most prestigious jazz clubs of Paris. His band won the first prize of the “Sunset Jazz Club Competition” in 2001.
Completing a two-year program at the National School of Music (Evry, France), Alex Terrier obtained his Gold Medal. In 2004 the prestigious Berklee College of Music (Boston, USA) awarded him with the B.E.S.T. Scholarship. In addition he is also a recipient of the Lavoisier Scholarship (French Government) and of the scholarship from the Bleunstein-Blanchet Foundation. He completed his Degree in Jazz Composition and Performance and studied with great American musicians such as Joe Lovano, George Garzone, Ed Tomassi, Dave Santoro, Hal Crook, Greg Hopkins, Ken Pullig, Herb Pomeroy, Phil Wilson, Dino Govoni and Jamey Haddad.
In 2005, Alex’s academic work is awarded with the “Joseph Viola Scholarship” for outstanding performance, and the “Herb Pomeroy Award” for outstanding composition. Alex Terrier’s music is featured on 3 albums on the label “Jazz Revelation Records” run by Berklee College of Music.
In 2006, he was sent by Berklee on a tour to Costa Rica to represent the college in a series of concerts and master classes.

In 2007, his first album as a leader “Stop Requested” was released on the French label Aphrodite-Records and met a great commercial success and was acclaimed by the French and American critics. On this album, Alex Terrier presented his compositions written during his years in USA with great international artists: American Jazz giant George Garzone (saxophone), American drummer Nick Falk, Korean bassist Hogyu Hwang, Luxembourgian pianist Michel Reis, Japanese-American guitarist Aki Ishiguro and Canadian-Portuguese vibraphonist Jeff Davis.
In June 2007 Alex Terrier organized and produced a tour with his American band in France featuring Mike Tucker (saxophone), Nick Falk (drums), Michel Reis (piano) and Takashi Sugawa (bass).

In addition to his own projects Alex Terrier is now a high demanded sideman. He is part of many bands and work with such artists as Dimitris Mikelis, Nir Felder, Lionel Loueke, Julien Augier de Moussac, Jake Hertzog, Angela Watson, Stefane Wrembel, Jerome Sabbagh, Franck Amsallem, Corey Cook… He performs on a very regular basis in Jazz clubs in New York such as Smalls, 55 bar, Cachaca, Fat Cat, Cleopatra’s Needle, Barbes, Louis Bar…

In addition to this, Alex Terrier is also a very productive composer/arranger whose talent has already been recognized. In April 2007 his dodecaphonic piece for Jazz Orchestra “L’Heautontimoroumenos” was played by the orchestra of the Univeristy of Houston, Texas. He has composed in different settings, from the small chamber orchestra to the full orchestra, for singers/songwriters or movie directors.

Alex Terrier is a complete artist. A distinctive instrumentalist, he is also an amazing writer. He is definitely an emerging young musician, well recognized by the public and his peers, for his musical qualities, his leadership and his professionalism.