February 25th, 2021
Tunetown – Entering Utopia
(Three Pines Records, 2021)
Chordless trios have always fascinated me (and my guitar instincts often find me wishing I could join in). Make no mistake – this trio doesn’t need anything else.
Tunetown features Kelly Jefferson (tenor and soprano saxophone), Artie Roth (acoustic bass) and Ernesto Cervini (drums, percussion & bass clarinet). Each of them is a highly-respected and Juno-nominated musician in their own right, and each leads their own band, but together this trio elevates the simple trio to something truly special.
This is the group’s second release and features almost entirely original compositions with the exception of two new arrangements – Blue Gardenia (Russel/Lee) and Cheryl (Charlie Parker).
Hello, Today opens the album and immediately draws the listener into the conversation. There are thoughtful exchanges of musical dialogue, dynamic shifts and locked-in rhythm throughout.
Entering Utopia begins with an unsettled bass line and a mournful tenor sax line. The percussion textures are light throughout. Roth (who also composed this piece) plays a lovely solo in the middle.
Other highlights include the bass delays on the brief but intriguing Looking Glass, the rippling Sycamore, Memories Remain, Layla Tov and Cervini’s bass clarinet playing on Blue Gardenia.
Entering Utopia is the debut release on the new Canadian label Three Pines Records – a label dedicated to the celebration and preservation of music from across Canada.