Myriad3 Moons Press

Myriad3 Moons Press
Myriad3 // MOONS (2016 Alma Records)
Press: Braithwaite & Katz; Jane Harbury Publicity
The Moons of Myriad3
JazzTimes Magazine (Online)
May 28th, 2019
By Travis Rogers
[ ]
Myriad3 has been working together for over five years and the musical relationship has deepened to the point where
their current album Moons (ALMA Record ACD52062) became an inevitability. It is a phenomenally creative and
interactive conversation between artists who know and respect (and expect from) each other so well.
Moons is their third album and the complete team of Chris Donnelly (piano), Dan Fortin (bass) and Ernesto Cervini
(drums) along with Peter Cardinali (producer) and John “Beetle” Bailey (engineer). For some musicians, that level of
comfort could lead to creative catastrophe, for Myriad3, it is a recipe for creative conversation.
Bassist Dan Fortin spoke of the first two albums—2012’s Tell and 2014’s The Where—saying, “the material here is
pretty different, and I’d say more thoroughly composed that The Where. I believed we have evolved with each album.”
Pianist Chris Donnelly added, “Tell is rather a live off the floor record, with The Where being more of a transition to
where we are now with Moons.”
The pieces on Moons are agonizingly brief, the longest tracks (two of them) being only 5:33. It makes for intense
performance and listening. Themes are often introduced then developed quickly while other pieces have a slower
development but are gone too soon.
The album begins with Donelly’s Skeleton Key. It is very emotional, even with its rather strident pacing. Donnelly’s
piano is matched is mirrored by Fortin’s bass. Cervini maintains a determined half-shuffle while the piano right-hand
carries the theme upward. Listen to the bass line in the final two minutes with the drums in locked rhythms. This is the
next evolutionary step for Myriad3 and for Jazz.
Noyammas is a cool bass dialogue with piano and bass, written by Ernesto Cervini. Cervini is the most aggressive
while the piano and bass are more exploratory. The piano begins to develop in different directions from the bass with
the result that a triadic conversation takes place.
One thing that Noyammas allows is the focused hearing on each instrument. They are collectively marvelous but
individually just as exciting.
Unnamed Cells is by Chris Donnelly. The piano’s doubled chords are complemented by the two-note motif from the
bass as Cervini knocks down the beat. This is a fascinating piece. Donnelly creates a brief eight-note motif with each
note played in quads while the bass locks in at 8x. Then the theme notes are played in 16x by the piano. It is a
musical mapping of the division of cells, notes (like cells) multiplying exponentially. Intuitive? Sure, but this is the stuff
of the intellect, as well. And I like it.
Dan Fortin wrote Stoner. It is slowly, almost contemplatively, paced. The intricate changes follow the lines that pass
for logic in this state of thinking. Mellow and open, the approach allows great space for thoughtfulness and (con’t)
(JazzTimes 2/2)
imagination. The piano’s right-hand arpeggio serves as a platform from which the bass and drums jump off. The
music settles and comes to rest.
Fortin gets two-in-a-row as the composer of the following piece, Peak Fall. It has to be said again that this trio has
developed a rapt rapport with each other and Cardinali and Bailey (this should be called a quintet) know exactly what
to do with what the trio lays down.
The bass lines are smart and spot-on with Cervini in great support with the brushes. Donnelly provides the gentler
piano melodies. It is not “smooth” (mostly because that makes you think of Kenny G) but it is meditative and
Counter of the Cumulus is the only piece not written by the trio. Rather, it is written by electronic master
Disasterpeace. It is forward and adventurous with a strong link to music history. Well-written and performed with
precision, it is a work that shows a commitment to the advancement and development of Jazz for the future.
The trio opens in unison, with bass and drums strident with the piano. The piano immediately erupts into a furious
arpeggio from the left while laying down a beautiful melody on the right. This is fantastic stuff. Bass and drums and
left-hand piano just hammer the rhythm while the piano turns the melody into a Baroque two-part invention.
The pounding passes into something lyrical and thoughtful—like the sweet smell of rain after the thunderstorm.
That sweetness continues into Cervini’s Ameliasburg. It is a fine melody brought to life by piano and bass as the
brushes and cymbal washes paint a picture of rainy streets. It is like an interlude in a movie drama. Beautiful.
Sketch 8 is by Chris Donnelly. The bass and drums are in full-force as the piano lays down a three-note idea that
lightens the sounds. The drum then adopts a military beat and the bass and piano move into something more Jazzy.
Even with the three-note motif continuing, the melodic line follows a cool idea and the bass follows.
Ernesto Cervini wrote the title track, Moons. It is one of the two longest pieces on the album and thank the moon for
it. Not precisely haunting, it is more of a space-age nocturne with reflective imagery and thoughts of the future. There
are passages of sheer loveliness as the piano moves alone trough the void.
After the midway point, the bass moves alongside with a delicate propulsion as the brushes are added ever-so-lightly.
This was a slowly developing piece as the drums are fully heard with only one minute left in the track. The bass (with
the cool effects) also reaches its zenith with not much time left and the piano closes the song as it began.
Brother Dom is also by Cervini. It is based on odd beats and Jazzy breaks and the melody emerges with smart
rhythms. Eventually, the piano is just as percussive as the bass and drums and the melody is swallowed up in
rhythm. A nice groove is woven in and out of the piece. Nicely constructed.
Exhausted Clock by Dan Fortin closes the album. The clock’s ticking is heard breaking down and turning into brush
work by Cervini before Donnelly brings the melody alive, Fortin close at hand. The melody is a charming line and the
bass lines are beautiful. It is like life slowing to stillness.
Myriad3 has achieved something truly remarkable with Moons. The intuitive understanding between the trio and the
loose structure of many of the pieces allow them to present, develop and conclude delightful musical ideas in their
own pace. Pointed to the future, Myriad3 believes in the present life of Jazz and strengthens it for the move to come.
~Travis Rogers, Jr. is The Jazz Owl
Myriad3: Moons
All About Jazz
By Dan McClenaghan
May 16th, 2016
[ ] [4 Star Review]
Someone's always trying to take a tried and true format out on a new tangent.
Consider the piano trio: Bill Evans introduced deep, classically-influenced harmonics
and a democracy of instrumental input in the late fifties and early sixties. The Esbjorn
Svennson Trio (e.s.t.) brought in classical, rock, pop and techno elements; The Bad
Plus plays with avant-garde jazz and pop/rock influences, and they can be loud. Even
the tried and true changes. It's all good; and some of it is great. Myriad3, a forward-leaning piano trio out of Toronto, Canada, has released their fourth
CD, Moons, taking the piano trio format on a modernistic tangent of their own. It's
three stellar musicians—all of them superior tune smith's—who take on the form with
an equilibrium of input, an energetic verve and intelligence, some catchy grooves and
strong compositions, straight through. "Counter of the Cumulus," the only non-original of the set, opens with a majestic
bombast before shifting into a Nik Bartsch-like groove. "Skeleton Key," from the pen of
the group's pianist, Chris Donnelly, plays out as a rock dirge. Ernesto Cervini's drums
shift from a muscular grandiosity to a whispered shuffle; Dan Fortin plays a yearning
heartbeat to the pianist's delicate wind chimes, until the groove reasserts itself. A
marvelously engaging, mood-shifting tune for the opening for an album. Cervini's "Noyammas" has a dark, furtive quality, a beautiful avant-garde piece that
evolves and changes shapes as it rides time's flow. Bassist Fortin's "Exhausted Clock"
wraps the set up with a graceful, subdued ballad. Gorgeous and wistful, a small
masterpiece of subtle three-way interplay.
Myriad3 Sets Controls for the Heart of the 'Moons' on New Alma Records Release
By Mike Greenblatt
May 15th, 2016
[ ]
Get ready to take off as Canada's prog-jazz trio Myriad3, for its third CD, sets its sights
on the heart of the Moons (Alma Records). If 2012's Tell and 2014's The Where were
any indications, Moons is where they want to be: packed with surprise, voluptuous
weirdness, classical gas and an eccentric eclectic no-holds-barred vision of
instrumental music run amok.
Born in 2011, Myriad3 is piano/synthesizer wizard Chris Donnelly, upright bassist/
fretless synth master Dan Fortin and drummer Ernesto Cervini who doubles on
glockenspiel. Together, these three form a trio akin to one bad-ass monster visionary
with three heads and six arms.
The gorgeous "Peak Fall" will worm its way into your sweet spot with Donnelly's bass
similar in texture and feel to what the late Jaco Pastorius did in his heyday behind Joni
Mitchell. It takes over as a lead instrument in a swirling cloudy mix of Monk
Mysterioso proportions.
These tracks were road-tested throughout Europe and Japan before being recorded in
Toronto. As produced by Peter Cardinal and engineered by John "Beetle" Bailey, the
same team who worked on the first two CDs, Moons has many highlights including
"Stoner," a meditation of sorts with the kind of changes that surprise and delight. Then
there's the sole cover. One would think, at first glance, that Myriad3 would cover
pioneering '70s fusion bands Weather Report or Return To Forever but that would be
too obvious. Instead, they chose "Counter of the Cumulus" by underground electronica
artist Disasterpeace. Suffice it to say, it sounds like Beethoven on LSD, and could have
been the soundtrack to the cantina scene in 1977's Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
Tired of the same swing, bebop, fusion, big-band, Dixieland, classical, avant-garde or
blues bands? Myriad3 will take you to their Moons for a dose of the future. You may
never be the same.
Myriad3: Moons
Japan Jazz
Issue No. 73: Sept 2016
By Yukinori Omura and Hiroki Sugita
A Slew of Trios (Part 1 - Fred Hersch, Ed Simon, Myriad3)
Step Tempest
July 29th, 2016
By Richard B. Kamins
[ ]
Over the past several months, a large amount of recordings by trios have been issued. Not just piano-bass-drums trios but other
instrumental configurations of three. However, for this first of a series of reviews, we'll only look at piano ensembles.
The Fred Hersch Trio, along with the Bill Charlap Trio and the Keith Jarrett - Gary Peacock - Jack DeJohnette ensemble, is a most
consistent unit live and on record. For the past seven years, the pianist along with bassist John Hébert and drummer Eric
McPherson have played in venues in this country and overseas. "Sunday Night at The Vanguard" is the group's latest recording
(its fourth for Palmetto Records plus there is one on the Japanese Venus Records label) and, like the others, must be described
with superlatives for the Trio and its individual members. The 10-song program is equally split between originals and standards or
should-be standards.
Opening with Richard Rodgers "A Cockeyed Optimist" (from "South Pacific"), one can listen to how these gentlemen work
together. Focus on the solo section where you hear pushing the beat which pushes the pianist while the bassist plays melodic
counterpoint. The rhythm section rambles with such ease while Hersch dances, swings, and sings. Later, there's a beautiful
reading of "The Peacocks"; the Jimmy Rowles piece has been recorded by numerous musicians, including three other versions by
Hersch. It's on his 1986 "Sarabande" album with Charlie Haden and Joey Baron, a quintet version on 1995's "Point in Time", and a
solo version from 2014's "In Amsterdam: Live at The Bimhuis." Like his continuing fascination with Thelonious Monk, the pianist
keeps finding new approaches to the song and all of them are engrossing. Speaking of Monk, there is an ever-so-playful reading of
"We See" that is, at turns, funky, swinging, bluesy and features moments of interplay where McPherson "trades 4" with his
partners. The emotionally rich reading of Lennon & McCartney's "For No One" and the open-ended joy of Kenny Wheeler's
"Everybody's Song But My Own" (the title track of the Venus Records album) give the avid listener a front row seat to brilliance.
Four of the Hersch originals come after the first cut. They include "Serpentine", with McPherson's cymbals leading the way into a
deliberate melody and a solo section that is reminiscent of Keith Jarrett's original music for his Trio. "The Optimum Thing" flat-out
swings, the three musicians dropping into a double-time romp halfway through. A strong blues introduction on "Calligram"
changes direction several times, Hébert's melodic bass dancing around the piano figures and sparkling, shivering, cymbals. More
playfulness can be heard on "Blacking Palomino" which struts atop more impressive drum work. But, be sure to pay attention to
the delightful bass lines as they dance alongside and underneath the piano.
"Sunday Night at The Vanguard" is composed of music from the last night of a six-day run at the venerated New York City
landmark. There are artists who record every note of a long engagement and labels who chose to release multi-disk sets but Fred
Hersch chose to give listeners what he thought was the "lightning in a bottle" of a night when the band was "in the zone" - this
glorious album should make you want to see the band live. And, do go see and hear them as The Fred Hersch Trio is among the
best ensembles of any size playing in this day and age.
For more information, go to This recording will be released on August 12, 2016.
Born in Venezuela (moving to Philadelphia, PA, at the age of 12), pianist and composer Edward Simon is one of the busiest and
most accomplished musicians, one who gracefully moves between small and large ensembles all while creating a body of work
that is increasingly more impressive.
"Latin American Songbook" (to be released in late August on Sunnyside Records) is a gracious and highly musical journey to the
roots of Edward Simon. Featuring drummer Adam Cruz and bassist Joe Martin, the pianist has chosen music that helped shape
him as a musician and person, pieces he had first explored as a young student or had played behind his father or heard on the
radio.Simon has such an articulate way of playing a melody one can hear the words as they flow through his fingers. Pieces such
as "Alfonsina Y el Mar" (from Argentinean composer/pianist Ariel Ramírez) and the dramatically solemn "Gracias a la Vida" (by
Chilean composer and activist Violeta Parra) showcase the excellent work of Simon and Martin, whose bass solos are often
stunning and always melodic. The Trio remakes familiar works by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Astor Piazzola, making the listener not only enjoy the pieces in a a
different light but also hear how familiarity with material breeds creative license. Jobim's "Chega de Saudade" is changed to a
hard-bop adventure as interpreted by Bud Powell while Piazzola's "Libertango" is closer to the original, Simon playing the fine
melody over a sea of cymbals and with Martin's active underpinning. Listen how the pianist expands upon that melody during his
solo, never leaving the chordal foundation of the song but dancing through the changes with glee.
"Volver" (Return), a lovely tango composed in 1934 by Argentinean actor, composer, and singer Carlos Gardel, moves with grace
and urgency, Simon's chordal work and generous improvisation over the pulsating rhythm section (listen closely to ever-changing
inventions of Cruz). The final track, a sublime performance of "En la Orilla del Mundo" (At the End of the World) by Cuban
composer Martin Rojaz, is so musical and so emotionally rich. Simon first heard the piece performed by Charlie Haden and pianist
Gonzalo Rubalcaba; here, the melody falls like a rain shower over the spare yet melodic bass line and the soft brushes. It's a
masterful finish to an excellent album.
Edward Simon excels in a trio setting and has since his 1990's recordings through his work with John Pattitucci and Brian Blade.
"Latin American Songbook" introduces a new ensemble (he has recorded with Adam Cruz for CrissCross but never with Joe
Martin) but the intent is the same - make the finest artistic statement one can. This is music that moves and will move you as well.
Myriad3 is a the cooperative trio of Chris Donnelly (piano, synth), Dan Fortin (acoustic bass, fretless electric bass, synth),
and Ernesto Cervini (drums, glockenspiel). They first played together by accident in 2010, discovering they has similar
tastes and goals. They have toured throughout their native Canada, the United States, and Europe. "Moons" (ALMA
Records) is their third album and, arguably, their best. Weeks on the road and time in the studio have sharpened this
material. The musicians take more sonic chances yet never abandon their collective beliefs that melody is so important
and creative interactions are supreme.
The 11 tracks on "Moon" (four by Cervini, three each by Donnelly and Fortin, and an exciting reading of "Counter of the
Cumulus" from the catalog of Disasterpeace), have a great deal of variety. From the throbbing beat of "Skeleton Key" (with
its drone-like melodies from piano and bass) to the solemn ballad "Stoner" to the playful stop-start rock of "Brother Dom",
this music keeps one interested. The blend of acoustic and electric bass on Fortin's "Peak Fall" and how it enhances and
wraps around the piano melody takes the ballad and expands its rhythmic range (listen to the interplay of bass and drums
during Fortin's solo). Cervini's "Ameiliasburg" has an Erik Satie-like simplicity in its unadorned melody and quiet backing the shortest track on the disc, it is a lovely and emotional tone poem.
The drama and rising urgency of "Sketch 8" and funky bounce of "Unnamed Cells" (quite a danceable track) shows the
versatility of the band. The latter track adds synths and bass effects but not to the detriment of the music. When the trio
gets a head of steam, this music moves with a passion. When they explore the quieter side, the tracks, such as
"Exhausted Clock", allow one to hear how each member contributes to the sound, to the melody, to the movement.
"Counter of the Cumulus" shows they are tuned into the musical world around them and enjoy the opportunity to interpret
what they are hearing.
Myriad3, as it continues to mature as an ensemble, are creating its own sound. The various influences (e.g. The Bad Plus,
Steve Reich) have been absorbed and the trio exhibits no trepidation as they move forward. Each man is a leader in his
own right and each has worked with a wide variety of artists. "Moons" brings all their influences and experiences together
- this is 21st Century piano trio music that is serious fun!
Jazz Life Magazine (Japan)
July 2016
Myriad3: Moons
All About Jazz
July 27th, 2016
By Dave Wayne
[ ]
Myriad3's third release, Moons follows very much in the vein of their first two, Tell (Alma Records, 2012)
and The Where (Alma Records, 2014), yet there are subtle differences both in instrumentation and their
approach to their material. In short, a lot of growth is evident when one compares Moons to its
predecessors. Tell, recorded a scant 2 years after the trio's formation, is essentially a virtuosic acoustic
jazz album: three young cats flexing their well-developed chops. The thing that made Tell so interesting
was the high level of listening going on. This was the sound of three amazing musicians who were also
supremely attuned to one another. The Where was essentially a continuation of Tell. A surfeit of high
energy, tricky tunes; a smattering of electronics, an artsy, math-y medley / mashup of beloved jazz
standards. Horn overdubs played by the trio's amazing drummer Ernesto Cervini. It was good, but it
seemed as if the trio hadn't really thought this one through. Electronics play a more pronounced role on Moons. While gizmo-generated sounds aren't the band's
focus, they're clearly well- integrated into the band's overall sound. They're lurking in the background on
"Skeleton Key" and "Unnamed Cells," but nowhere to be heard on "Sketch 8." Each of these tracks
marry jazz and Philip Glass-like minimalism with an anthemic post-rock sensibility, much like Brian Haas
and Matt Chamberlain did on their debut duo album Frames (Royal Potato Family / Kinnara Records,
2013). And this new stylistic / technological angle makes a difference for Myriad3. Moons is clearly a more assured and stylistically mature album than its predecessors. Though there are
plenty of convoluted compositional turns and high-energy interactions here—check out "Counter of the
Cumulus," "Noyammas" and "Brother Dom" for some fascinating thematic adventures and hot improv
activity—there are also moments of beautiful emptiness. "Stoner," for instance, is a gently undulating
melody that rises and falls unhurriedly. Here, the guys clearly value the spaces between the notes. The
same goes for the title track. Despite its more pronounced electronic input, the trio behaves more like a
mini-orchestra; carefully managing dark and light, balancing timbres and sonic weights. For those less enamored of newfangled gadgets and genre-busting compositional activities, "Peak Fall,"
"Ameliasburg," and "Exhausted Clock" nod fondly to those days when piano trios played acoustic jazz,
albeit that brainy, harmonically-advanced impressionistic style à la Bill Evans. Most fetching is
"Ameliasburg," an all too brief and incredibly wistful melody of Satie-esque delicacy and richness
imbued with a chill-inducing depth of feeling. More, please.
Myriad3: Moons
Jazz da Gama
June 5th, 2016
By Raul da Gama
[ ]
Nothing about this album by Myriad 3, Moons is conventional. It may meld jazz, electronic
music and other forms of current pop music. That’s the ‘party line’. More to the point is the
fact that it flies in the face of reason and succeeds magnificently in doing so. But other
epithets also come to mind: Incandescent, profoundly human and intoxicating in its
celebration of the natural force of music. That probably better describes what this
fascinating performance is all about. There is no one reason for all of this but there are,
well, three individuals who bring a multiplicity of exciting aspects to the music of the group.
Chris Donnelly is a brilliant pianist, Dan Fortin is a magnificent bassist and Ernesto Cervini is
a multi-instrumentalist and ingenious at every instrument he plays. Together it’s more than
piano, bass and drums. They create music that challenges one another to untie the
complexities of the compositions that are infinitely demanding of its performers and requires
special treatment at every turn. And the musicians’ interpretation succeeds superbly by
focussing on the life-affirming qualities of the works rather than going in search of the more
ceremonial aspects of the pieces. There is genuine urgency in the music, which is also
infectiously joyous. Typical of this characteristic is ‘Moons’ which is rhythmically crisp and
unfailingly responsive, most effectively in the dramatic twists and turns of its melody.
The performance on this album by all three players mixes wild mystery with coruscating
brilliance. ‘Skeleton Key,’ for example, is remarkable and is beautifully shaped by each
soloist and captivating in ensemble passages. By adding synthesizers at critical moments in
the music the music becomes orchestral, these instruments making it flexible in
externalising the drama of the piece in which the synth is used. I have never heard a more
compelling performance by a trio in recent memory, nor have I heard one that plays music
this contemporary with as much heart in it.
Donnelly’s tempos are on the brisk side, but the sound is never congested and is aided by
exemplary almost ‘orchestral’ articulation, care for instrumental detail and some of the most
wonderful bass and drum playing you will ever get to hear in a modern trio. There is also
superb solo playing on the part of Fortin and Cervini, both of whom are radiant from start to
finish. Above all, the performers respond wholeheartedly to the unabashedly expansive way
in which each piece communicates its message on this, the third sparkling album of
Myriad3: Moons
Gapplegate Music Review
July 29th, 2016
By Grego Applegate Edwards
[ ]
Canada's Myriad3 is a jazz piano trio whose music has a marked composed-arranged
emphasis and an acoustic jazz-rock sensibility similar to the Bad Plus, yet making
original and engagingly modern contributions of their own, as we can hear readily on
their third album Moons (Alma ACD52062).
The album gives us some eleven band originals. It is a product of five years working
together, carefully honing their group sound and breaking ground in a sort of intuitive,
mutually invigorating way.
Pianist Chris Donnelly, bassist Dan Fortin and drummer Ernesto Cervini show us how
far they have come with an intriguing set of pieces, written variously by all three artists
and providing substantial and contrastive landmarks, indexes of a compelling sort,
guiding beams into their overall sound.
This is music played with an attractive flexibility and looseness that make each
selection sing out and groove along while the effective and sometimes complex
composed passages bring a great deal of musical innovation-novelty and musical
The title cut is ravishing!! Do not miss this.
I found myself liking the music more and more as I heard it. This trio is the real deal,
make no mistake. An abundance of musical wealth awaits!
Myriad3: Moons
Midwest Record (Vol. 39 #194)
By Chris Spector
May 2016
[ ]
It's been pointed out to me that the difference between US arts council music and
Canadian arts council music is like the difference between Mercury and Pluto. And now
I'm jealous. Canadian arts council music is intended to foster a healthy arts scene
promoting depth and diversity. US? Meh. Once again starting with improvs and ideas,
the band road tests the material shaping the sound of jazz for tomorrow. A blisteringly
original date that shows how hard work really does pay off, if this left leaning date isn't
the one that puts them over the top, they've gotten that much closer to the bulls eye
once again. Killer stuff throughout. New music: reviews of this week’s CD releases
Winnipeg Free Press
By Keith Black
May 26th, 2016
[ ]
The Canadian trio Myriad 3 is made up of pianist Chris Donnelly, bassist Dan Fortin and
drummer Ernesto Cervini. The three started playing together almost by accident in
2010 through subbing and sitting in for other musicians in Toronto. Since then, they
have melded into a wonderfully unified and fiercely democratic trio, where each has
room to contribute within a solid group sound.
They obviously have a good time with their music and trust each other implicitly, and
that relationship has been fruitful; Myriad 3 garnered a Juno nomination, has performed
here in Winnipeg, across Canada and beyond, and is in the forefront of the
contemporary jazz scene in Canada.
Their new release is an example of their continuing maturity and creative empathy, with
a range of tempos and styles that proves both restless and refreshing. While using
electronics at times on a previous album, the trio here is acoustic, with each member of
the band contributing original compositions. The one cover tune is Counter of the
Cumulus, by electronic artist Disasterpeace. Myriad3: Moons
The Jazz Writer
July 2016
By Woodrow Wilkins
[ ]
A trio that sounds like something bigger. That’s Myriad3. And the group continues to
impress with Moons (Alma Records, 2016).
The players are Chris Donnelly, piano and synth; Dan Fortin, upright bass, fretless and
synth; and Ernesto Cervini, drums and Glockenspiel.
Highlights include the opening track, “Skeleton Key,” “Unnamed Cells” and the one
cover song, “Counter of the Cumulus.” When one thinks of the piano-bass-drum
lineup, the music usually covers jazz standards or is confined to the acoustic sounds of
those instruments, often both. But the inclusion of synths and the Glockenspiel
immediately gives these songs more depth and diversity. The electronic element adds
a contemporary, or modern, feel. And the compositions range from the simple melody
to the complex symphony, a soundtrack of life.
Moons is Myriad3’s third release. The trio has toured Canada, the United States and
Europe, and they are making inroads to Asia. Their 2014 release, The Where, was
nominated for a Juno award, which is the Canadian equivalent to a Grammy.
Myriad3 - Moons
My Life is Music
July 29th, 2016
By Jonathan Knop
[ ]
Myriad3 started following me on Twitter the other day and I began to check out their music.
Particularly their latest album, Moons. Myriad3 is a piano trio from Toronto, Canada consisting of pianist
Chris Donnelly, bassist Dan Fortin and drummer Ernesto Cervini. They use some synths and electronics
on this album. Personally I really like what that adds to the traditional acoustic piano trio format. The
album benefits from repeated listens. I highly recommend this album.
“Skeleton Key” starts the album off with a piano riff increasing in intensity as the bass and drums
join in. Towards the middle of the song the bass takes over the riff. The song is simple in structure with
the same underlying riff throughout. Electronics add to the thickening layers of sound. The whole greater
than the sum of its parts.
In “Noyammas” piano lines chase after the underlying bass lines. Towards the center the song
opens up to some free jazz playing with the piano playing in the upper register.
“Unnamed Cells” starts simply with the piano playing chords and bass notes. After the bass
joins in, the piano plays a more complex line underneath the chords. The song keeps building growing
fuller and fuller.
“Stoner” is a dreamy song. A nice change of pace from the first four songs. The notes being
pulled slowly from the instruments before picking up tempo later in the song.
“Peak Fall” is a good song on a great album. It suffers only because it is surrounded by better
songs and might even be the best song on other albums.
“Counter of the Cumulus” is a complex hard-driving number. The drumming pushing the
composition forward. If your mood is not lifted after listening to this song I don’t know what will. Joy
gushes out.
“Ameliasburg” is elegiac and beautiful. It draws you further and further into its web until you are
trapped not wanting the song to end.
“Sketch 8” feels like it could be the intro to a rock opera. In the middle it takes on a martial beat.
“Moons” is an experiment in sound. Fitting in at this spot of the album nicely. I do not think the
song stands alone well.
“Brother Dom” is a harmonically rich song. The pounding drums pushing the song forward.
“Exhausted Clock” ends the album in a slow and simple way. Building in complexity as the song
and album draw to a close.
It is great to come across new bands that I would normally not know anything about and
discover a treasure of wonderful music. I once again highly recommending giving Myriad3 a listen.
Myriad3: Moons
Mikki (Japan)
August 17th, 2016
By Takayuki Kurihara
[ ]
The Where
The Bad Plus
Unnamed Cells
Translated (via Google)
Nominated for a JUNO Award previous work "The Where" is referred to as Canada's
Grammy! E.S.T. ~ The Bad jazz piano trio with a post-rock elements connected to the
lineage, such as Plus Japan debut and made this work. Quiet slide into gradually
uplifting beat the tow from the onset as "Unnamed Cells" to a remarkable, really thrilling
is music deployment that has been kneaded into dense and lyrical beauty world.
Recently released a work from the Blue Note, including the GOGO PENGUIN also
Japan tour was a great success the United Kingdom, the top class talent among the
next generation of piano trio of the number of powerful, to the music of both! !
Improvijazzation Nation (Issue #163)
By Dick Metcalf
August 31st, 2016
[ ]
Myriad3 – MOONS: This highly creative trio is back again… I last reviewed them in
issue # 130, where I noted their high degree of creativity together… it’s taken a while for
my prediction that you’d be hearing much more from them to come to realization, but as
you listen to Chris Donnely’s piano, Don Fortin’s bass and Ernesto Cervini’s drums,
you’ll know you are listening to a new jazz force to be reckoned with in the new century! They’re able to convey moods like you wouldn’t believe – if you’re not sure you believe
that, I can promise you a true contact high as you scope out “Stoner“… lol! If you want
something with a bit more musical mystery, I’d definitely recommend the opener,
“Skeleton Key“… almost a dirge going on here, but they build slowly and majestically
into a full-blown jazz original you will love. If it’s intricate jazz weave in a most laid-back
environment you thirst for, you’ll love my personal favorite of the eleven tunes offered
up, “Exhausted Clock“… again, the trio “creates” a mood that will bring back memories
for you. Some of the most highly original playing and creative jazz I’ve heard (yet) in
2016, this gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from me, with an “EQ” (energy
quotient) rating of 4.98. Get all the information about the players and the music at the
Alma Records page for Myriad3. Rotcod Zzaj
Myriad3: Moons (Alma)
David Royko’s Music Rambles
September 3rd, 2016
By David Royko
[ ]
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.
Myriad3: Moons
September 2nd, 2016
By Phontas Troussas
[ ]
Δεν είμαι 100% σίγουρος αν οι Myriad3 είναι Καναδοί, φαίνεται όμως πως η βορειοαμερικανική χώρα είναι μια
κάποια βάση τους. Με τρία άλμπουμ έως ώρας στην κατοχή τους, οι... Μυριάδες που είναι τρεις φυσικά (Chris
Donnelly πιάνο, synth, Dan Fortin κόντρα & άταστο μπάσο, synth, Ernesto Cervini ντραμς, κρουστά), δείχνει να έχουν
την jazz ως βάση, δίχως τούτο να αποτελεί τροχοπέδη για τις ποικίλες ηχητικές περιπλανήσεις τους. Το λέω, επειδή
οι μουσικές του γκρουπ στο “Moons” [ALMA Records, 2016], που είναι σχεδόν όλες πρωτότυπες, δεν σχετίζονται με
το blues (και ό,τι εκείνο συμπαρασύρει μέσα στον τζαζ κόσμο), όσο με τη romance και τη γενικότερη ευρωπαϊκή
παράδοση. Θα μπορούσε να γράψει κάποιος για ένα σχήμα που άρχεται από τους e.s.t. φερ’ ειπείν –δίχως τη δική τους
περιπέτεια, αλλά με πιο επικεντρωμένες και επεξεργασμένες μελωδικές αναφορές– για να καταλήξει κάπου πέρα.
Το εισαγωγικό κομμάτι για παράδειγμα, που έχει τίτλο “Skeleton key”, είναι ένα θαυμάσιο δείγμα minimal ελαφράς
μελωδίας, με το πιάνο να δημιουργεί συνθήκες «χασίματος». Σε ακόμη πιο αργό τέμπο το “Stoner” θα μπορούσε να
φέρνει στη μνήμη ακόμη και David Sylvian, με το “Sketch 8” να παραπέμπει σε παλαιό John Carpenter (στην
εισαγωγή) και με το φερώνυμο “Moons” να αποκαλύπτει, σε αδρές γραμμές, όλα τα «υλικά» της μουσικής των
Myriad3. Γερές μελωδίες, με λίγες νότες σε αργά και μεσαία tempi, με το μπάσο να απλώνεται στο χώρο, και με τα
ντραμς να κρατούν το ρυθμό με συνεχείς και συχνά ανεπαίσθητους ρούλους.
Μια πολύ ενδιαφέρουσα ομάδα είναι οι Καναδοί, με τα κομμάτια τους να συναγωνίζονται το ένα το άλλο σε πρόδηλη
ωραιότητα και εσωτερική δύναμη.
Rough Google Translation:
I'm not 100% sure if Myriad3 are Canadians, but it seems that the North American country is a certain base. With
three albums to time in their possession, the ... Myriad is three course (Chris Donnelly piano, synth, Dan Fortin
plywood & fretless bass, synth, Ernesto Cervini drums, percussion), seems to have jazz as a basis, without this being
an obstacle to their various sonic wanderings. I say, because the musical group the "Moons" [ALMA Records, 2016],
which is almost all original, not related to the blues (and what that sweeps into the jazz world), but the romance and
the general European tradition.
You could write someone a scheme initiated by e.s.t. for instance -dichos their own adventure, but with more targeted
and treated melodic anafores- to arrive somewhere beyond. The introductory piece for example, which is titled
"Skeleton key", is a wonderful sample minimal light melody with the piano to create conditions "hashish". In yet
slower tempo the "Stoner" could evokes even David Sylvian, the "Sketch 8" to refer to old John Carpenter (the input)
and the namesakes "Moons" to disclose, in general terms, all the "ingredients" of the music of Myriad3. Strong
melodies with few notes in late and middle tempi, with bass unfolds in space, and the drums to keep pace with
continuous and often subtle Ruli.
A very interesting group are the Canadians, with their pieces to compete with each other to manifest beauty and inner
Listening Post: Myriad 3, the Complete Piano Music of Erik Satie
The Buffalo News
By Jeff Simon
May 19th, 2016
[ ]
Myriad 3, “Moons” (Alma). New jazz records by Myriad 3 are usually big news on
Canadian jazz radio. Since Toronto jazz radio is the only jazz radio we regularly have
here, that makes them big news here too, whether we like it or not. The reason for that
is that the trio is sometimes thought to be the Canadian Bad Plus. A look at the fine print
on this, its third and newest album, tells you that it was funded, in part, by the Canadian
government and private Canadian radio too. It is, like The Bad Plus, an acoustic jazz/
rock piano trio. What that means on this album is a lot of ostinati and subtly changing
repeated figures from pianist Chris Donnelly, pedal points by bassist Dan Fortin and
most of the free improvising in the group by drummer Ernesto Cervini. Cervini is good
but is in no danger of being confused with Elvin Jones, Jack DeJohnette, Tony Williams
or Jeff “Tain” Watts. It all makes for decent acoustic jazz-rock for a generation addicted
to simple rock rhythms but, overall, a notable lack of creative fire. The finale, called
“Exhausted Clock,” sounds like what happens at the piano when the metronome runs
down and is stored away. Two and a half stars out of four.
Other notable press:
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