Toronto-based drummer Ernesto Cervini juggles a lot of ensembles: the Turboprop sextet, a pair of co-led trios, MEM 3 and Myriad3, and chordless trio Tunetown. Add to that another trio, Tetrahedron, offing up an eponymous debut with guitarist Nir Felder and his Fender Stratocaster sitting in to add some electric chording to the mix, electric bassist Rich Brown adding a funkier vibe than is normally found on a Cervini project, and the Cuban-born and now Toronto-based saxophonist Luiz Deniz injecting a distinctive modernist tang. For his part Cervini is orchestrally textural and tight in his timekeeping. It all adds up to a compelling sound.
A mix of originals and covers, Tetrahedron begins with the standard "Softly, As in A Morning Sunrise," which sounds surprisingly unfamiliar in its dark, foreboding opening moments, as if that sunrise brings a dawn of a scary dystopian world, with the atmosphere drawing its ominousness from the electrical sustain employed by Brown and Felder. Momentum builds, big time, and the tune takes on a torrid pace and settles with saxophonist Deniz leading the charge into a fervid exposition on the familiar melody.
"Forward Motion" rolls down the rails, locomoting on a highly synchronized Cervini/Brown/Felder drive train, with engineer Deniz blowing the train whistle with a maniacal zeal. "Angelicus," from the pen of Vince Mendoza changes the pace, introducing a mood of pensive loveliness into the set, and "Boo Radley" (the name of the character from that most famous of Harper Lee novels) showcases the group's intricate seamlessess and clean rhythmic modernity.
With their CD release Tetrahedron, Ernesto Cervini and his group have crafted a distinctive twenty-first-century sound, pushing the drummer-bandleader's vision forward, as always.
Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise; Forward Motion; Angelicus; Boo Radley; Stro; Summit Song;
Wandering; The Sneaky Two.
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