Ernesto Cervini Turboprop – A Canadian Songbook (ENG review)

TPR records – Street date March 8th 2024
Ernesto Cervini Turboprop – A Canadian Songbook

When our friend, the composer and drummer, releases a new album, inevitably it draws special attention, and those who regularly read us know that we are without concession, whether friends or not, we always say what we think. Once again, this is an album that requires a certain cultural background and open-mindedness to appreciate. The musicians on this album, Tara Davidson on alto saxophone, Joel Frahm on tenor saxophone, William Carn on trombone, Adrean Farrugia on piano, Dan Loomis on bass, and Ernesto Cervini on drums, are all impressive artists. Throughout “A Canadian Songbook,” it’s Turboprop all the way, elevating on some impressive compositions by Cervini and arrangements of pop/rock tunes such as “When I Fall” by Barenaked Ladies and “Clumsy” by Toronto’s own Our Lady Peace. Brilliant pieces from Cervini’s contemporaries and friends, Allison Au (“Aureole”), James Hill (“Skeletons”), and Turboprop’s trombonist William Carn (“The Inertia of Complacency”), complete the program. “The two pop songs on the album, I’ve been listening to since they came out when I was a teenager,” says Cervini. “Allison’s and James’s songs, I fell in love with them while working on promoting their albums,” he adds, referring to his role as the founding director of Orange Grove Publicity.
As for the history of this album, I should be used to it, but for me, Ernesto Cervini’s musical arrangements are among the most talented I know, capable of going very far in the recomposition of a piece, setting no limits. It’s a very particular talent that cannot leave anyone indifferent. Another note, from the first track of this album, I immediately thought, “Oh! What a beautiful team!”. Music is not just about composition and the ability to decipher it on the fly; here, there’s genuine pleasure in the way each instrumentalist enters the tracks, expressing their sensitivity, and there are tons of sensitivities here, emotions, questions, joys of living. It’s probably the poetic mark of this album that is expressed from the first to the last track. With two saxophones (Tara Davidson, Joel Frahm) and Carn’s trombone offering harmonic richness, unlimited versatility, and extraordinary improvisational virtuosity, Cervini can tell the story of what these songs inspire in him, aided by the eloquent and formidable rhythm section partners, Dan Loomis (bass) and Adrean Farrugia (piano). “I am happy to present my reflection on the Canadian music scene and the wonderful composers who make it up,” writes Cervini in the liner notes. “I have always been very proud of my Canadian heritage. I love the support that this country provides to artists, and I think that support is reflected in the success of Canadian artists worldwide.”
Certainly, this album and the musicians who make up this group will conquer the major festivals. Such music, arranged in this way, fascinates both knowledgeable listeners and festival programmers. This album is a true delight, offering what musicians can do best, making it utterly indispensable in my eyes, a reference of the genre that many music students will dissect during their courses, and an audience that will undoubtedly give long ovations. This is all we can wish for such a beautiful project.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move and ABS magazine
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, February 23rd 2024


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