Tetra what now?

Submitted by Josh Grossman on Fri Apr 5 4:13pm

I'll admit that it's been a challenging several weeks, both on the home and work fronts. Everything's fine, everyone's healthy, it will all work out. But it's been a bit of a slog. I feel lucky to have supportive family, supportive colleagues, and work (official and personal) which continues to inspire me in a variety of ways.

And, of course, music. I'm thankful to have experienced some fantastic concerts recently, and the next few weeks promise to bring even more. Tonight I get to make music with Idioteque; tomorrow night I'll be at the Aga Khan Museum to hear Amir ElSaffar. And Tuesday night the next TD Discovery Series Special Project arrives - Ernesto Cervini's Tetrahedron with special guest guitarist Nir Felder.

Tetrahedron is a new chordless trio which features three outstanding Canadian artists - drummer and leader Ernesto Cervini, Luis Deniz on sax and Rich Brown on bass - playing original compositions and unique arrangements of standards. While the trio has been playing around Ontario for the past four years, they have yet to record an album...but that all changes next week: they head into the studio after their two-night stay at The Rex.

With Tetrahedron, Ernesto is looking to push himself (along with his audience) into new territory - moving away from his comfort zone of the acoustic jazz combo into something more electric, more groove based. And, listening again to the samples submitted with the Special Projects application (they recorded a demo in April, 2018), it's fair to say this is not a "standards" trio - snaking melodies; blurred time signatures; and, without a chorded instrument, more harmonic space...but with these players, it sits in a deep pocket. The soloing is fierce and, while exploring new ideas, it is still at its core an outstanding jazz trio: great time, enjoyable interplay and fun tunes.

Guitarist Nir Felder has earned acclaim for his own projects and as a sideman with top names in the jazz and pop worlds. His 2014 release Golden Age was lauded by critics across the United States, and was honoured as a Downbeat Magazine Editor’s Pick. I admit to not having seen Nir perform in person, but having listened to his album, I can understand the excitement: comfortable in progressive, even eights settings, straight ahead jazz tunes, quieter moments and even at times a little bit country, his playing is always original and melodic. Adding Felder to the Tetrahedron mix will make the trio decidedly less, um, chordless, but no less interesting: I expect Nir's melodic approach will be an excellent foil to the core trio's contemporary writing. Four musicians, each with explosive potential on the bandstand, playing original and creative music? Sounds like a great night to me.

Tetrahedron, with special guest Nir Felder, play The Rex Hotel April 9 and 10, 9:30 pm each night. Complete details are on our website. I'll be in cheering them on Tuesday night - I hope to see you there.

Josh