Ernesto Cervini Quartet

Little Black Bird

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For his second album as a leader, drummer Ernesto Cervini has written music steeped by the N.Y.C. neo-bop scene, dedicated to relations with family and friends, and inspired by the music of Radiohead. The contemporary mainstream jazz Cervini has conjured up swings along nicely, whether in 4/4 or other meters, driven by the skilled tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm, the very talented up-and-coming pianist Adrean Farrugia, and bassist Jon Maharaj. While sharply contrasting ballads and blues are also included, Cervini's melodic lines shared between everybody make this music truly leap from the speakers. The drumming of Cervini is on point, and powers up tracks such as the chatty, bluesy neo-bop title track, while the road song bopper "Jimmy Rey" is definitive with two-chord piano and a Michael Brecker visage from Frahm. In a circular ten-beat motion, "Mia Figlia" stands out among the other selections, but the Radiohead-inspired or written tracks "Seven Claps" and "2 + 2 = 5" show an exploratory nature, digging deep into a frail melody or using a loose ostinato groove, both featuring Frahm's soprano sax. Crossing bridges of generations and appealing to many, Ernesto Cervini has formulated a signature sound that should become more developed if given the time with this excellent non-traditional jazz and contemporary pop-based modern quartet.

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