Since establishing himself in New York in 1981, pianist Pete Malinverni has been content to work in a variety of settings that haven't brought him name recognition as of yet, but have kept him deeply immersed in music. His pedagogical endeavors find him at New York University and William Patterson and he can often be heard on Sunday mornings playing the piano at a local Baptist church.
For his second Reservoir date as a leader, Malinverni again chooses to explore the piano trio format and he does so with charm and elan. Joining him are two men who seem to be doing a lot of work together lately and could be the next important rhythm section on the horizon, bassist Dennis Irwin and drummer Leroy Williams. These three have certainly established a "hook up" and it's without diminishing the excellence of his past effort to say that A Very Good Year is even a stronger record.
The influence of Bill Evans is surely to be felt here, particularly in Malinverni's lush ballad interpretations of "Blue in Green" and "Imagination." Very attractive stuff indeed and sounding so warm, thanks to Rudy Van Gelder's finely-tuned Steinway. The pianist's own arrangement and blending of the two spirituals "Steal Away" and "My Lord, What a Mourning" further displays his fine taste and preference for lavish chords and understated beauty. But then there's some up tempo stuff to enjoy too. Malinverni's own "Courtin' the Muse" and "Projection" are quirky and finger-snapping tunes that bring out the best in everyone. In the final analysis, nothing revolutionary really occurs here, but there's something to be said for finely crafted music of this vintage.
Personnel: Pete Malinverni, piano; Dennis Irwin, bass; Leroy Williams, drums
Track Listing: It Was a Very Good Year, Courtin' the Muse, Steal Away/My Lord, What a Mourning, Lucky To Be Me, Blue in Green, Angelica, Imagination, Projection