May 22nd, 2021 (Online)
About the debut album “There From Here,” by the Canadian trio TuneTown, I concluded, “While the members of TuneTown are each excellent players, playing together, they are a superlative trio.” This recording is the new release by the trio of Kelly Jefferson (Saxophones), Artie Roth (Bass), and Ernesto Cervini (Drums, Percussion & Bass Clarinet). The present album, like the debut, is a mix of originals (including contrafacts) and standards.
Cervini’s “Hello Today” introduces all three as they alternate with brief solos. Jefferson particularly impresses on a bluesy performance that suggests an acidic Johnny Hodges. Roth contributed the title track, a radical reworking of “Out of Nowhere,” with a gorgeous sax solo over a floating pulse. Cervini’s “Billyish” is a hard-bop original showcasing Cervini along with Jefferson’s sterling sax.
Other notable tracks include Roth’s “Sycamore,” a contrafact of “Poinciana,” set to 7/4 time with a captivating performance, and the interpretation of Charlie Parker’s “Cheryl” with brawny sax from Jefferson and Cervini’s propulsive drum solo. On the closing “Blue Gardenia,” Cervini is on the bass clarinet instead of drums and provides texture and counterpoint to Jefferson’s sax, with Roth’s bass anchoring an evocative performance.
Also, there are several free-form trio improvisations on an album that is an outstanding follow-up to their debut album. TuneTown certainly is making its mark as a first-rate contemporary jazz ensemble.