Ernesto Cervini takes inspiration from mystery novels on new album Joy

Canadian drummer, composer and bandleader Ernesto Cervini was inspired by “the qualities of goodness, decency and courage” when making his latest album Joy.

The Juno-winning musician was inspired by Louise Penny’s award-winning series of mystery novels and was moved to make music that captures the characters, settings and relationships contained in the books.

“I completely fell in love,” Cervini says. “I was captured by the storytelling and the incredible characters. Although they are detective novels, the books are filled with kindness and joy, and I was inspired to write music that reflects the themes and characters in the books.”

Joy features Cervini’s multiple groups Turboprop, Tetrahedron and TuneTown, and it’s also his first recording to include vocalists. The album features the talents of vocalists Felicity Williams, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Amy Cervini and Alex Samaras, along with clarinetist Virginia MacDonald, saxophonists Tara Davidson and Kelly Jefferson, trombonist William Carn, pianist Adrean Farrugia and bassists Dan Fortin and Rich Brown.

Watch videos from the studio sessions for two of the new tracks below.

The 14-track album was co-produced by Amy Cervini, Ernesto’s sister.

An influential presence on Canada’s modern jazz scene, Cervini leads the innovative sextet Turboprop and the quartet Tetrahedron, and he co-leads the trios MEM3, Myriad3 and TuneTown. In 2020, his album Abundance won the Juno Award for jazz album of the year: group. Cervini is also part of the faculty at the University of Toronto.


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Here’s the track listing:

  1. Three Pines
  2. Surprised by Joy
  3. Myrna
  4. Sandalwood and Rosewater
  5. Clara
  6. Roar and Havoc
  7. Ruth’s Rosa
  8. The Moth
  9. Olivier & Gabri
  10. Peter Morrow
  11. The Beautiful Mystery
  12. Lacoste
  13. Beauvoir
  14. I’m FINE

Ernesto Cervini’s Joy arrives Oct. 7, 2022, via TPR.