Pete Malinverni: The Tempest (2004)
The album begins with the title tune, one of four originals, and a bass line from Irwin provides the backbone that keeps this ship afloat during a tempest. It is a composition that gets your attention quickly with the theme of turbulence and roiling currents. Malinverni is not afraid to rely on the Great American Songbook, and I am pleased to note that six of the ten songs are in that category.
Both "My Heart Stood Still" and "From This Moment On" share a well-rooted 1950s hard bop reading that demonstrates the pianist's techniques. Without being an imitation of the bop piano masters of that period, we can hear a rendering of melodies that stand up to the best of Tommy Flanagan or Bud Powell. "Alone Together" is given a contrapuntal reading and "Get Happy" is taken way up-tempo with an assist from drummer Williams. Malinverni's use of standards as effective jazz performance pieces reminds me of the personal involvement that pianists Bill Charlap and Fred Hersch employ with their respective trios.
Track Listing: The Tempest, My Heart Stood Still, Let the Sea Roar, Alone Together, Twelve, Get Happy, My Ideal, From This Moment On, Alone Together, It Could Happen To You.
Personnel: Pete Malinverni,piano; Dennis Irwin, bass; Leroy Williams, drums.
Record Label: Reservoir Music