6

Pete Malinverni: Heaven

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Pete Malinverni: Heaven
New York City-based pianist Pete Malinverni is a spiritual man. It's a side of his musical personality that he explores with depth and clarity on Heaven, a mostly trio affair that puts his succinct feel for the sacred, his supple and exquisite touch and his improvisational elan in the forefront on a gorgeous set of music. He serves up the traditional— "Shenandoah," "A City Called Heaven," "Wade In the Water—along with Duke Ellington's "Heaven" and "Come Sunday," and more, including his own "Psalm 23," a commissioned choral composition re-shaped for his piano trio.

Malinverni spent 18 years as the church musician at the Defore Street Baptist church in Brooklyn, New York, an experience that certainly immersed him in creation of music on a celestial scale. With Heaven he asks the question of the essence of the concept. Is Heaven a delayed reward for a righteous existence, or is it here, right now, in every human interaction, in every grain of sand? These are ruminations elicited perhaps by life events: the passing, in 2012, of the pianist/composer's beautiful and talented wife, vocalist Jody Sandhaus, and a reminder of his own mortality via a health scare in 2016.

Malinverni opens the set with Ellington-penned title tune, a bright, sassy , playful rollick-er that says Heaven is here on Earth. The pianist's original, "Psalm 23" explores solemnity and reverence. The African-American spiritual, "Down To The River to Pray" bubbles like clear water rolling over smooth, polished stones.

Heaven reveals Maliverni's seemingly effortless virtuosity combined with a heartfelt embrace of these tunes. Finding a kindred soul in Curtis Mayfield, Malinverni and his trio—bassist Ben Allison and drummer Akira Tana—swing with a fluid grace on Mayfield's "People Get Ready." On Ellington's "Come Sunday," trumpeter Jon Faddis joins the group. Muted, sounding a bit like Miles Davis from 1958, Faddis tells an extraordinarily poignant story with an eloquent, voice-like delivery, backed by the trio's subtle touch as they unfurl eight minutes of understated perfection.

Vocalist Karrin Allyson contributes beautifully on "Shenandoah," with a clear and forthright delivery on the time tested tune. Saxophonist Steve Wilson joins the trio on a modernized "Wade In The Water." The opening statement is crisp, leading into Maliverni's angular solo. Then Wilson and the pianist get into a quirky conversation that sounds like Thelonious Monk and Charlie Rouse in a loose mood.

Heaven presents a top level piano trio with well-incorporated guess slots in a beautiful examination of sacred sounds.

Track Listing

Heaven; Psalm 23; Down to the River to Pray; Shenandoah; Eili, Eili; People, Get Ready; Come Sunday; A City Called Heaven; Wade in the Water; Ashokan Farewell.

Personnel

Pete Malinverni: piano; Ben Allison: bass; Akira Tana: drums. Guests: Karrin Allyson: vocals; Jon Faddis: trumpet; Steve Wilson: alto saxophone.

Album information

Title: Heaven | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Saranac

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read How To turn the Moon
How To turn the Moon
Angelica Sanchez & Marilyn Crispell
Read The Path
The Path
Chien Chien Lu
Read Golden Daffodil
Golden Daffodil
Leslie Beukelman
Read Message from Groove and GW
Message from Groove and GW
The Radam Schwartz Organ Big Band
Read Duos & Trios
Duos & Trios
Armaroli - Schiaffini - Sjostrom
Read Hard Bop
Hard Bop
Eric Binder
Read How Can We Wake?
How Can We Wake?
Josephine Davies
Read Blue Has A Range
Blue Has A Range
Steve Cardenas

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.