Upon hearing the opening measures of "Everything I Love", adjectives like "relaxed", "uncomplicated" and "lyrical" comes to mind on the back of notes coming from Pete Malinverni's piano. But there are also elements of surprise throughout added to make sure that everyone's listening. As he moves along romantically on "Blame it on My Youth" all of a sudden some discordant notes appear. But consistent with the mood of this album while they may be jarring, it's a smooth, not rough, bump in the melodic road. One hears the influence of those keyboardists Malinverni has looked to for inspiration, Bill Evans, Bud Powell and Ahmad Jamal. One can also detect a hint of Milt Buckner's locked chords technique in "I Love You". Malinverni's composition" The Dragon Roller Coaster Ride" is the vehicle for some faster paced action. But irrespective of the tempo, Malinverni never loses sight of the overall objective of this his third album for Reservoir to keep things on a pleasing, steady track.
The exposure given bassist Dennis Irwin in Malinverni's scheme of things reveals his appreciation of the reliance Evans placed on the many good bass players he used to help deliver his musical message. Listen to Irwin rhapsodize on "What Is there to Say?", one of the several opportunities he gets to show off his skills on the bass. Veteran drummer Leroy Williams applies his drum sticks and swishing brushes appropriately and judiciously throughout the session, always on top, but never dominating.
Malinverni is vocalist Jody Sandhaus' regular accompanist and has worked with jazz artists representing a variety of styles such as Ralph LaLama, Tom Harrell and Don Menza. But clearly he is quite comfortable in the trio format as shown on this highly recommended album.