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Myriad3: Moons

Dan McClenaghan By

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Someone's always trying to take a tried and true format out on a new tangent. Consider the piano trio: Bill Evans introduced deep, classically-influenced harmonics and a democracy of instrumental input in the late fifties and early sixties. The Esbjorn Svennson Trio (e.s.t.) brought in classical, rock, pop and techno elements; The Bad Plus plays with avant-garde jazz and pop/rock influences, and they can be loud. Even the tried and true changes. It's all good; and some of it is great.

Myriad3, a forward-leaning piano trio out of Toronto, Canada, has released their fourth CD, Moons, taking the piano trio format on a modernistic tangent of their own. It's three stellar musicians—all of them superior tune smith's—who take on the form with an equilibrium of input, an energetic verve and intelligence, some catchy grooves and strong compositions, straight through.

"Counter of the Cumulus," the only non-original of the set, opens with a majestic bombast before shifting into a Nik Bärtsch-like groove. "Skeleton Key," from the pen of the group's pianist, Chris Donnelly, plays out as a rock dirge. Ernesto Cervini's drums shift from a muscular grandiosity to a whispered shuffle; Dan Fortin plays a yearning heartbeat to the pianist's delicate wind chimes, until the groove reasserts itself. A marvelously engaging, mood-shifting tune for the opening for an album.


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Cervini's "Noyammas" has a dark, furtive quality, a beautiful avant-garde piece that evolves and changes shapes as it rides time's flow. Bassist Fortin's "Exhausted Clock" wraps the set up with a graceful, subdued ballad. Gorgeous and wistful, a small masterpiece of subtle three-way interplay.

Track Listing: Skeleton Key; Noyammas; Unnamed Cells; Storner; Peak Fall; Counter Of The Cumulus; Ameliasburg; Sketch 8; Moons; Brother Dom; Exhausted Clock.

Personnel: Chris Donnelly: piano, synth; upright bass, fretless, synth; Ernesto Cervini: drums, glockenspiel.

Title: Moons | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Alma Records

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