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The Tempest by Pete Malinverni

The Tempest, the seventh album pianist Pete Malinverni has released as a leader, is a jazz trio album with a classical sensibility about it. By that I mean that while it is, without a doubt, 100% straight-ahead jazz, Malinverni infuses his playing with a precision and an elegance that testifies to his classical music background.

Malinverni began playing the piano at the age of seven in his hometown of Niagara Falls, New York, where he studied classical piano with local legend Laura Copia and continued with Elena Belli, Anthony Newman and Sophia Rosoff. He went on to earn a Bachelor's degree in Music Education from the prestigious Crane School of Music in upstate New York and took his Master of Music degree from the Purchase (New York) Conservatory of Music, where he studied piano and composition with the famed Anthony Newman. In addition to serving as Professor on the jazz faculties of New York University and the SUNY Purchase Conservatory Of Music, he is also in his twelfth year as minister of music for the Devoe Street Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York.

With these kinds of credentials behind him, it’s no wonder that his playing on this album is so consistently crisp and accurate while still overflowing with emotion. Malinverni plays with a light though percussive touch, and has the ability to sum up the soul of a song in just a couple of measures. There is a phrase he plays in the last couple of bars of his solo on "My Ideal" that is so achingly poignant that they alone are worth the price of the album. His control of time and understanding of pacing and its affect on the emotional statement of a piece are unsurpassed.

Joining Malinverni on this collection are longtime bandmates Dennis Irwin on bass and Leroy Williams on drums. Both are jazz legends in their own right, and add plenty of heat and sizzle to Malinverni’s fire. Their unity as a trio is single-minded and always extremely tasty.

In addition to three Malinverni originals ("The Tempest", "Let The Sea Roar (Psalm 98:7-9)" and "Twelve"), the band also covers the standards "My Heart Stood Still", "Get Happy", "From This Moment On" (the Cole Porter tune), "It Could Happen To You" and two Malinverni solo versions of "Alone Together" (both wonderfully done).

Whether playing as a trio, a duo (piano and drums on "Get Happy") or solo, Malinverni and company display a talent and love for the music that is truly a joy to experience.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Pete Malinverni
  • CD Title: The Tempest
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Record Label: Reservoir Music
  • Tracks: The Tempest, My Heart Stood Still, Let The Sea Roar (Psalm 98:7-9), Alone Together, Twelve, Get Happy, My Ideal, From This Moment On, Alone Together, It Could Happen To You
  • Musicians: Pete Malinverni (piano), Dennis Irwin (bass), Leroy Williams (drums)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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