TuneTown revivifies the saxophone trio
Aug 8th, 2019
The chordless saxophone, bass and drums trio has a distinguished history in jazz, going back to Sonny Rollins and Lee Konitz in the late 1950s and early 60s. Now the Canadian collective TuneTown, formed in 2015, extends the venerable tradition of the sax trio and releases its debut album in September.
There From Here pools the creativity of three of Canada’s top jazz improvisers: Kelly Jefferson (saxophones), Artie Roth (bass) and Ernesto Cervini (drums).
The group performs original music composed by and for the trio, bringing together three distinct musical voices on material that runs the gamut from intense to relaxed. Seamlessly assimilating elements from the avant-garde, funk and jazz worlds, There From Here is a stimulating addition to the saxophone trio canon.
In an era of “shuffle” listening this album plays out like a story, intended to be listened to from top to bottom; given the compelling quality of the music and the playing this is no chore. The album kicks off with the exhilarating bustle of A Sonic Handshake and so the listener is welcomed into the dynamic world of TuneTown. There follows a series of tunes and moods, ranging from the swinging Monks Of Oka (dedicated to Thelonious Monk) to the reflective closer, A Transient Space.
In between, there are two standards arranged by the band – a rich reworking of Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Lady and a swinging reharmonisation of Cole Porter’s All Of You. In addition, the listener is treated to the cheeky side of the group with The Mayor, a nod to municipal leaders of the world, and a tip of the cap to Toronto’s more “colourful” mayors from past years.