By Frank Alkyer | Published November 2017
Rev is the second album from Ernesto Cervini’s Turboprop, and it’s a shoot-the-lights-out blast of a listen. Cervini serves as ringmaster and drum flame-thrower on this eight-tune set. He views Turboprop as a collective drawing upon the strengths of alto and soprano saxophonist Tara Davidson, tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm, trombonist William Carn, pianist Adrean Farrugia and bassist Dan Loomis. The group has an infectious, propulsive energy that delivers a power punch without forsaking nuance and melody. “The Libertine,” a fascinating Farrugia composition, for example, begins with Cervini’s wicked-swirling rhythms while Frahm and Davidson state the theme with unison horn lines. Solos by Farrugia and Frahm are simply knockouts of taste, technique and artistry. Here and throughout the entire program there’s a sense of closeness and shared spotlight, playing with, around and through, but never over, each other. Part of that comes from the writing. “The Libertine” is one of five originals on the album. Loomis offered “Ranthem,” a lovely breath of hope. Carn delivered “Arc Of Instability,” a majestic piece that highlights the trombonist’s rich tone and composing chops. And Cervini brought two tracks to the sessions: “Granada Bus” is a loping ride and the title track, “Rev,” exemplifies the cool musical gymnastics Cervini the drummer and Cervini the composer can cook up. Beyond the originals, Turboprop offers great arrangements of Radiohead’s “The Daily Mail,” the standard “Pennies From Heaven” and even Blind Melon’s “No Rain.” Overall, Rev is a bright wave of an album and Turboprop is the real deal. Turboprop will be on the road in 2018. I, for one, would love to see this band live.