"Autumn in New York"
is the latest effort by NYC pianist Pete Malinverni
and his superb trio consisting of Dennis Irwin on bass and drummer Leroy Williams. It should be no surprise that Malinverni's elegant swinging bebop piano is ably lofted to soaring heights by such stellar band mates, with Williams respectfully keeping the sound in close quarters with brushes and sparse use of pyrotechnics.
The offerings here include the uptempo standards "Long Ago and Far Away", "Too Close For Comfort", "My Shining Hour" and the opening tune "Simpatico". Malinverni's originals are reflective of the events that shook New York on Sept. 11, and include the somber "Elegy", composed in memory of two friends lost on 9-11, and the ballad "Contemplative".
The CD also includes another Jerome Kern tune, the little-heard ballad "In Love In Vain". Malinverni writes in the CD notes that Kern's music had been a central focus of his playing during the months following 9-11. The set winds down with a reflective reading of Vernon Duke's "Autumn In New York", focusing on the hope in the song's last line, "Autumn in New York, it's good to live it again."
This album is essential New York piano trio music and a CD that begs to be listed to again and again. On an ironic note, Malinverni's group was one of the last to play in the now defunct Smalls club in Greenwich Village. While Smalls is now a memory destined to become a musician's legend, we should all be thankful that Pete Malinverni will still be a part of the NYC scene for many years to come.