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David Royko Psy.D

Myriad3: Moons (Alma)

Dave Royko’s Music Rambles

September 3, 2016

The fat and driving sound of Canada's Myriad3 (pianist/synthist Chris Donnelly, drummer Ernesto Cervini, and bassist Dan Fortin) brings to mind the trio sections (in other words, the parts without John Carter’s clarinet) of Horace Tapscott's epochal Dark Tree sessions, maybe even McCoy Tyner’s chordal tidal waves, if you shift much of the solo space to the drummer, as on this disc’s opener, “Skeleton Key” -- and cut the pieces into bite-sized hors d'oeuvres (Moons' eleven tracks average 4 or 5 minutes each). That might sound like a goofy parallel, but the mood is similar, particularly to Tapscott. Even if drummer Ernesto Cervini isn’t Tony Williams -- who is? Or was? Hardly anyone has matched his genius for maintaining a pulse while abstractly soloing around it, ala Miles Davis/Wayne Shorter's’ “Nefertiti” -- he is a blast to listen to. These are all consonant originals (and “Ameliasburg” could be a 4th Satie Gymnopedie), their penchant for quickly building and developing vamps lending it a whiff of minimalism. The hints of synth shouldn’t spook anyone with allergies to Zawinul-style electronica -- this is an acoustic piano trio in sound and approach, though prog rock fans should find it tasty, too. In sum, boldly sculpted and accessible fun.

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