Delve into Toronto-based drummer Ernesto Cervini's discography and you find an artist who seems to be trying to be a force for good in the world. His CD releases feature his Ernesto Cervini Quartet, MEM3, Myraid3, and Turboprop (and others, for he is prolific). His is a sound that brims with buoyancy, whether it's a trio outing or a sextet.
Abundance is the Turboprop sextet's third outing. The group could be considered Cervini's nod to the Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers approach, with more texturalization coming from the drum chair, a bit more unabashed beauty overall.
The disc opens with "The Queen," from the pen of the group's alto saxophonist, Tara Davidson. The sound leans deeply into the modernity side, with a hard forward momentum and on-edge soloing all around. The front lineDavidson, trombonist William Carn and tenor sax man Joel Frahmblows out powerhouse harmonies. After the ear-catching introduction, the band moves into three familiar standards, Tadd Dameron's "Tadd's Delight," Harold Arlen's "My Shining Hour," and Charlie Chaplin's "Smile," all brightly rendered, cementing the theme of gratitude for the blessing of "'Abundance."
"The Abundance Overture," a Cervini composition, exudes a light-stepping, playful mood in its opening minute, that moves into muscularity with bassist Dan Loomis' powerhouse solo, before shifting into the magisterial on trombonist Carn's turn, then sliding out into the sparkling sunshine when pianist Adrean Farrugia takes over.
Farrugia's "Ten Thousand things" is a shape-shifting mini-symphonydark and pensive one moment, a runaway train barreling down a steep slope the nexta train that never loses control or its hold on the tracks.
Two Cervini compositions, the gorgeous and wistful "Gramps" and the expansive "Song For Chito"a nod to Cito Gaston, manager of the Toronto Blue Jays who steered the team to back-to-back World Series Championshipsclose out the excellent recording with style.
The Queen; Tadd's Delight; My Shining Hour; Smile; Abundance Overture; The Ten Thousand Things; Gramps; Song For Cito.
Tara Davidson: alto and soprano sax, flute; Joel Frahm: tenor sax; William Carn: trombone; Adrean Farrugia: piano; Dan Loomis: bass; Ernesto Cervini: drums.
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