The Toronto-based septet Turboprop serves, in part, as an arrangement-expanding vehicle for drummer/leader Ernesto Cervini
. With his work in two ongoing, outstanding trio'sMEM3 and Myriad3Cervini helps shape modernist jazz in the piano trio mode. Turboprop, with its three horn front linetwo saxophones and a trombonegets the chance to stretch his arranging chops, with Rev
, the group's sophomore effort.
Cervini is a guy who wears his joy on his sleeve. His approachwith Turboprop especiallyis busy, orchestral. It is not understated or subtle, which serves the group well in its creation of high-energy, sometimes playful, sometimes swinging music.
The disc's opener, "Libertine," from the pen of the group's pianist, Adrean Farrugia, is a tumult, full of relentless momentum featuring a measured and pensive piano solo slipped in between some torrid sax turns from Tara Davidson
and Joel Frahm
. "Granada Bus," a Cervini tune, has a careening down winding, narrow streets feeling, as madcap as a hot Klezmer workout.
Turboprop's trombonist, William Carn
, contributes "Arc Of Instability," that would have fit in well in a J.J. Johnson
small group outing; and bassist Daniel Loomis
offers up his bright sunrise of a tune with "Ranthem," one of the most memorable melodies on the disc, that dissolves into free-sounding piano trio interludes.
The great choices on the covers elevates the listen-through experience of Rev
. The 1992 pop radio hit, "No Rain," by the group Blind Melon, opens sounding rhumba-ish here, with Davidson's relaxed and lovely soprano sax singing, then melding into a some gorgeous three horn harmony, rolling into solos all around. Radiohead's "The Daily Mail" draws the Turboprop sound inward, opening with a ringing bass solo from Loomis.
Then there's the venerable "Pennies From Heaven," the 1936 Bing Crosby vehicle. Turboprop proves they can swing with the best of them, with some Ellington-ian harmonies, some Count Basie-like piano, and inspired horn solos. Nice!