Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Ernesto Cervini’s Turboprop: Abundance (Anzic)

Review of the third album by the Canadian drummer's sextet

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.
Cover of Ernesto Cervini's Turboprop album Abundance
Cover of Ernesto Cervini’s Turboprop album Abundance

On paper, Ernesto Cervini’s Turboprop looks like nothing so much as Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers—a drummer-led sextet fronted by three horns. But where Blakey’s leadership focused heavily on rhythmic drive, Cervini takes a more nuanced approach. It isn’t just that he routinely scales his patterns to fit what bassist Dan Loomis and pianist Adrean Farrugia are laying down; Cervini drums like someone who’s an arranger at heart, carefully placing each accent for maximum melodic impact.

That’s hardly surprising, because Turboprop is the sort of band that places as much emphasis on the writing as it does on improvisation, with arrangements that underscore the ensemble’s interplay while ingeniously framing the melody. They’re clearly deep listeners, as their version of “Tadd’s Delight” has great fun with Dameronian harmony, while “My Shining Hour,” which takes its inspiration from Geoff Keezer’s 1998 recording on Turn Up the Quiet, is almost a valentine to the pianist’s creative vision. Even the usually sappy “Smile” (Charlie Chaplin’s best-known composition) takes on unexpected dignity in trombonist William Carn’s hands.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published