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Pete Malinverni: Autumn in New York

Dan McClenaghan By

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In the piano trio format, there's no faking it. Technical prowess is necessary, but if that's all there is, the resulting sounds have a feel of sterility; the music, no matter how well-executed, sinks into the forgettable category.

Pianist Pete Malinverni has the goods in terms of experience: classical studies, a degree from the prestigious Crane School of Music, and a long term stint as a church musician in Brooklyn's Devoe Street Baptist Church, an influence that has led him to compose several suites for gospel choir and jazz quartet based on the Psalms of David.

So the credentials are there, but what's that little extra that sets him above so many of the rest? This: Pete Maliverni wears his heart and emotions and a certain spirituality on his sleeve, and it all seeps wonderfully into his music.

On the classic title tune, "Autumn in New York" and his own composition, "Elegy", the pianist deals with outcomes of 9/11, the city's darkest day in recent history. "Elegy", a solemn, melancholy prayer, was written for two friends lost in the tragedy; and his take on "Autumn in New York" is pensive, spare, wistful—that season will never be the same in the city again—but it's important to remember Pete Malinverni's observation: "...the song itself reminds us to go on. The last line of the lyric is 'Autumn in New York, it's good to live again.'".

A hopeful message. And the CD does indeed include some very upbeat sounds: "Simpatico", the Maliverni-penned tune, inspired by his thirteen year old step son, has a Monkish tone—logic, simplicity, angularity and bounce. That must be a heck of a kid. And "Little David"—for that overmatched Biblical boy—brims with a snappy, gutsy confidence. Sort of like pianist Pete Malinverni.

Track Listing: Simpatico, Too Closr for Comfort, Elegy, My Shining Hour, Contemplative, Little David, In Love in Vain, Long Ago and Far Away, Autumn in New York

Personnel: Pete Malinverni, piano; Dennis Irwin, bass; Leroy Williams, drums

Title: Autumn in New York | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Reservoir Music

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