JAZZ< Take a great old standard -- Cole Porter's "Love for Sale," say. Nine hundred ninety-nine out of 1,000 jazz musicians will simply count off a medium tempo, wait for a comfy riff and play the tune's changes. Not Jacky Terrasson. He starts out with a soft vamp and an Ahmad Jamalisn exploration of musical space and virtually recomposes it as he goes, rephrasing and repunctuating it at will with tidal swells and tremolos. That's why he is not only the most exciting young pianist in current jazz but one of the most exciting young jazz musicians, period.
For those who've never experienced him live (and who have ever loved any jazz pianist at all), Terrasson is not to be missed. The last time he tried to make it to a gig at the Calumet Arts Cafe, he was quarantined in Manhattan when vile weather grounded all flights. His appearance Saturday evening in the Calumet is the centerpiece of a mind-boggling jazz weekend there. Kicking it off this evening is Pucho and His Latin Soul Brothers, a rhythmic outfit capable of turning Dizzy Gillespie's "Groovin' High" into an electric mambo and, for all we know, "O! Canada" into a cha-cha.
Capping it off Sunday in the Calumet will be returning Buffalo native saxophone player Don "Red" Menza, a local hero who, with trumpet player Sam Noto, virtually kept local jazz alive in the '60s. He leads a rare octet Sunday in a tribute to Stan Getz. Menza is one of the most under-recorded players and arrangers in jazz, and this is a treat. For those who want a sense of Menza-and-Noto jazz in the '60s, they'll appear with Sam Falzone at 9 this evening in Carlos O'Ryan's, 91 Niagara St.
-- Jeff Simon