Pete Malinverni: Heaven

Fiona Ord-Shrimpton By

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Perhaps church would be fashionable again amongst lapsed Christians if every church had musicians at the spec of Pete Malinverni. We have, in part, much to admire of the LA based Newman family for their reach in music and its training, in which composer, Anthony Newman was an insightful mentor to Malinverni's dedication. It would seem that to get to Heaven you must start at the Bach.

As a summons Malinverni's call to prayer is witness to some genuinely grateful conversations with the highest high, or some other omniscience, tick your box. Malinverni may translate to bad winters, of which Mr Malinverni has recently endured a few, yet his higher calling knows how to dissipate the bad weather without the need for unrestrained musical pessimism. Swiftly highlighted, Malinverni believes we know now, not before and probably not after, and therefore rejoice now, for tomorrow may be too late.

In fact, the cardio warming, church-going sounds of Heaven are the perfect float for an unavoidable future date with those regal white horses and black carriage, gently guiding souls to the knowledge of a serene white light, and the ultimate in gated accommodation. A purity, harder to find in today's climate than ever before, is delivered with a compulsion to heal and be healed. Authentic is overused and undervalued as a mot du jour, yet in the case of Malinverni and his colleagues, artisanal spirituality sounded in truth is as close as anyone can get to feeling authentic. It takes time to cut to the chaff, and Heaven taps the source neat. Treasured standards old and new, including 'Wade in the Water,' 'Come Sunday' and 'People, Get Ready' are given special treatment, and original compositions are accommodated perfectly by a stellar band.

Ben Allison, Karrin Allyson, Jon Faddis, Akira Tana and Steve Wilson, all provide the backdrop for a swingingly divine Jesus and his Jazz Daddy, because one can argue there simply is no greater love (and only one can, because only one truly knows), while Master of Ceremonies, Malinverni shines a deft and delicate touch to dispel darkness and plant seeds for renewal. What's God for, if not to bring hope in the saddest of times?

Malinverni has the musical prowess and groundedness to make you believe in a higher force, if only for a moment, and with so many hopeless situations in this era, as in others, belief is still a torch for progress. Good is great, and bad is surely no better.

Bottom line, Heaven is here and now.

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.

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


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