Myriad3: Tell (2012)
Tell is the debut of Myriad3, a young, Toronto, Canada-based trio formed in 2011 after its members met on local gigs. Recording the album over just two days the following year, the trio's interplay and sense of togetherness belie both its members' youth and the relatively recent establishment of Myriad3 as a unit. There's a very democratic feel to the trio's work with no obvious leader, no obvious follower, and each player taking the role that best suits the music at any particular point in time.
Apart from a jaunty version of pianist Duke Ellington's "C Jam Blues," all the tunes are originals, with credits shared fairly equally between the three band members. The rolling rhythm of bassist Dan Fortin's "Myriad" gets things underway in an upbeat fashion, echoing the positivity of "C Jam Blues." Its mood is a little uncharacteristic of the album as a whole, however, although pianist Chris Donnelly's "Mr Awkward" swings cheerfully enough. Drummer Ernesto Cervini's "Fractured" is more typical, taken at a slower tempo, with a rhythm which matches its title and a more downbeat sensibility, though not without its own beauty. He continues this pace and atmosphere on much of "Disturbing Inspiration (Part 1)," loosening things up for "(Part 2)" where an edgier, faster pace with a hint of the Esbjörn Svensson Trio takes over.
Donnelly's "For The Dreamers" is decidedly downbeata mournful, slow tune characterized by a spaciousness and very gradual buildup of tension that reflect the trio's skill and confidence. The pianist's "Drifters" is initially placid and meditative, his light touch creating a delicate melody, but Cervini's sudden shift in pace and power creates a tougher mid-section.
Myriad3 certainly makes the most of its members' musicianship, but what makes this trio an even more exciting prospect is the strength-in-depth of its compositional talents. Donnelly, Fortin and Cervini are all writers with intriguing, individual, styles. Most bands would be happy to have one writer with those abilities. Myriad3 is already creating fascinating stories on this debut; hopefully it has lots more tales to tell.
Track Listing: Myriad; Fractured; For The Dreamers; C Jam Blues; Disturbing Inspiration (Part 1); Disturbing Inspiration (Part 2); Tell; Drifters; But Still And Yet; Mr Awkward; Lament/PEX.
Personnel: Chris Donnelly: piano; Dan Fortin: double bass; Ernesto Cervini: drums.
Record Label: Alma Records