Ernesto Cervini's new album, Tetrahedron (featuring Nir Felder)
ERNESTO CERVINI
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Canadian drummer, Ernesto Cervini releases his newest album Tetrahedron, featuring Nir Felder on ANZIC Records on March 6th, 2020. The album also features Luis Deniz on Alto Saxophone, and Rich Brown on the Electric Bass.

Hailed by the Vancouver Sun as “one of Canada’s premier drummer-composer-bandleaders,” Toronto-based Ernesto Cervini has proven restlessly creative at the helm of the Ernesto Cervini Quartet, his innovative Turboprop sextet, his co-led trios MEM3, Myriad 3 and Tunetown, and his Radiohead cover project Idioteque, among other efforts. With Tetrahedron, Cervini flips the script once again, undertaking his first project with an electric bassist (the great Rich Brown) and an electric guitarist (the acclaimed Nir Felder). Together with them and the marvelous Cuban-born, Toronto-based alto saxophonist Luis Deniz, Cervini reveals still new facets of his musical imagination.


Tetrahedron began its existence as a chordless trio with just Cervini, Brown and Deniz. “Rich and Luis were playing together around Toronto and already had a great connection,” Cervini notes, “so I started writing stuff that would work in a chordless electric setting.”


Delving into the rich history of trios with no chordal instrument — as pioneered by Sonny Rollins, Lee Konitz and other legends — Cervini was able to draw upon his own experience with tenor saxophone master Joel Frahm and his chordless trio, as heard on the forthcoming album The Bright Side. But even from the start, Cervini entertained the idea of augmenting the trio with guitar, and his mind turned to Nir Felder, whose unique jazz language on the Fender Stratocaster seemed like the dream fit. And he knew Felder would be able to transcend traditional “comping,” instead playing a more inventive and abstract role. “Because we’re so used to playing this music as a trio without any comping,” Cervini notes, “we were able to incorporate Nir without having to worry about our traditional ‘jobs’ in the band. And Nir is such a master of that loose, open-ended approach.”



Felder has been hailed as “the next big jazz guitarist” by NPR Music. He and Cervini met and played together during the latter’s stint in New York between 2003-07, and the guitarist’s career took off in the years since: he was handpicked as one of a select few to perform in honor of Pat Metheny’s induction as an NEA Jazz Master at the Kennedy Center in 2018; debuted as a leader on OKeh in 2014 with the well-received Golden Age; and landed prestigious gigs with Greg Osby, Rudy Royston, Terri Lyne Carrington, Jeff Coffin and a host of others.

Cervini is a well-rounded musician, having earned degrees from the Royal Conservatory of Music in classical piano and clarinet performance before he decided to focus his energies behind the drum kit. He has a master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music, a deep network of connections with the highest-echelon musicians, and a performance track record on some of the world’s hippest, most prestigious stages. Returning to Toronto in 2007 after his four years in New York, he has cemented his status as one of the leading champions of the local scene and Canadian musicians more broadly. Tetrahedron, with its potent Canada-meets-U.S. lineup, exemplifies Cervini’s mission and makes for a thrilling next logical step in his journey. From its triangular beginnings as a trio, Tetrahedron grew to encompass four sides, with four vertices, perfectly formed and in balance.
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