A High-Wire Act…. With No Net
It’s a daring and dangerous debut. These three Canadians have balls. There are no chords on There From Here (Slammin Media/Believe Distribution by TuneTown.) Saxophonist Kelly Jefferson, acoustic bassist Artie Roth, and drummer Ernesto Cervini could’ve very easily crashed and burned without the glue of either piano or guitar that supplies the chords that holds the improvisations together. But no. They’d rather walk a tightrope through strenuous exercises of avant-garde wildness wherein each musician seemingly solos continuously, simultaneously, and righteously. Amazingly enough, it works. “The Monks of Oka” was inspired by and dedicated to Thelonious Monk, a piano player who used plenty of off- kilter chords. I almost didn’t recognize Duke Ellington’s 1932 “Sophisticated Lady.” There was a point once when I thought if I ever heard Cole Porter’s 1954 “All Of You” again, I’d throw up, but damn if TuneTown hasn’t reinvented this overdone chestnut in an invigorating, challenging, and— most importantly—totally entertaining way. It all ends with the brilliant 8:54 original, the highlight of the set, “A Transient Space.” Bravo!