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Myriad3 — Vera
(Alma Records ACD92882, 2018, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2019-10-14

Vera Cover art

Toronto’s Myriad3 is one of a new generation of piano trios bringing traditions of jazz into a modern age. Unlike Naima or Chat Noir, they don’t venture into added keyboards or electronics, joining the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey and The Bad Blus instrumentation-wise, but it’s fair to say that Myriad3 does bring in moods, rhythms, and tonalities that are outside the bounds of swing, blues, and bebop. There are occasional nods to 20th Century classical music, with angular, dissonant melodies bearing a relation to RIO styles, but filtered through a lens that is cognizant of Duke Ellington and Bill Evans. Chris Donnelly’s piano is not flashy and virtuosic, but is very rich harmonically, filling in chords behind the melodies without sounding like college-course fake-book substitutions. Daniel Fortin sticks with upright bass, and does distinguish himself by stepping outside a timekeeping role at times for some very interesting playing. The drummer is Ernesto Cervini, and he handles the arrangements sensitively, whether grooving with a nice swing or interpreting tricky rhythmic passages on his kit. I wouldn’t say that Myriad3 is inventing a new vocabulary for the piano trio, but they are a fine example of how to do it in a contemporary world without sounding like they’ve been stuck in time for decades.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Myriad3

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