By Kerilie McDowall | Published April 2020
Featuring drummer Ernesto Cervini’s smart originals, Tetrahedron’s post-bop experimentation is augmented by the quartet’s sizzling exploration of jazz fusion.
Velvety tones from Rich Brown’s six-string bass smoothly coax out intricate nuances and subtlety, demonstrating his mastery on the opener—the classic “Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise.” Locking the melody in, guitarist Nir Felder and altoist Luis Deniz entwine on Rich’s high-energy burner, “Forward Motion,” with walking bass and tutti shots preceding Deniz and Cervini’s commanding solo spots.
Citing drummer Matt Wilson as an important influence, Cervini shapes his rhythmic textures with confidence. Magnificent uptempo drum strokes hit with grandeur on his “Boo Radley,” an homage to Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Guitar and bass rhythms here tease out a reminiscence of “Giant Steps,” setting up Cervini’s edgy, darker harmonic mood. Selected by Deniz, Bunky Green’s “Summit Song” offers a straight-up bluesy waltz, the quartet’s ideas brimming, heightened by its astute, deferential attitude. Cervini’s finish, “The Sneaky Two,” inspired by New York’s 2 train, includes tasty 7 odd meter over Brown’s dexterous bass, as a solo from Deniz displays a virtuosic command of his upper register.
Adventurous and riveting improvisational risk-taking from the quartet is topped with gifted writing and the unit’s seemingly effortless technical wizardry, affirming that this bandleader is an artist on the rise.
Tetrahedron: Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise; Forward Motion; Angelicus; Boo Radley; Stro; Summit Song; Wandering; The Sneaky Two. (47:44)
Personnel: Luis Deniz, alto saxophone; Nir Felder, guitar; Rich Brown, electric bass; Ernesto Cervini, drums.