189

Pete Malinverni: Invisible Cities

David A. Orthmann By

Sign in to view read count
Pete Malinverni: Invisible Cities Pete Malinverni's Invisible Cities:, inspired by the imaginative flights of Italo Calvino's novel of the same name, exists on its own terms and doesn't readily fit into any established jazz style or sensibility. The pianist effectively juxtaposes six of his compositions and four well-known, urban-themed songs. His ballad-oriented tunes, "New Orleans—Cities & Desire," "Salem—Hester Prynne," and "A City Called Heaven," are clothed in lovely, expressive melodies, the kind that beg for equally inspired lyrics. Beautifully interpreted by Tim Hagans's trumpet, "Venice—Cities & Memory" evokes images of a somewhat formal dance with erotic undertones. Amidst the quizzical, intermittent melody played by the horns on the frantic "Cities & Time," Malinverni pokes and prods the keyboard so as to mock the order imposed by the bass and drums. The loquacious "Istanbul" offers a straight-ahead swing bridge in between bracing twelve bar Latin sections.

The presence of three eloquent, individualistic soloists—Malinverni, Hagans, and tenor saxophonist Rich Perry—makes it easy to overlook the subtle, unobtrusive contributions of bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Tom Melito. Throughout an endlessly stimulating Latin groove that underscores "I Love Paris," they keep a two bar vamp cooking by simply staying put and not moving it in any other direction. Repeating one measure in five-four followed by another in three-four on "Cities & Time," Okegwo and Melito offer the impression of rapidly running in place. The leader's "Chicago" solo swings hard and true in part because of their stalwart support.

Malinverni's "I Love Paris" improvisation integrates pointed, rhythmically charged phrases and brief pauses. Beautiful and unsentimental, Malinverni purposefully strides through Okewgo and Melito's support throughout "Salem—Hester Prynne." Ostensibly resisting any connection to the bass and drums, the pianist's controlled chaos on "Cities & Time" includes stabbing chords and run on single notes.

Understatement, constant melodic invention, and his own sense of rhythm are earmarks of Perry's playing. A rendition of the melody of "Lonely Town" feels almost unbearably vulnerable in its lack of adornment. Nearly inaudible at the onset, Perry's "I Love Paris" solo stretches and yawns over the vamp before his tone gradually becomes harder and notes more pronounced. During "There's A Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York," he digs into the jaunty swing of the bass and drums with just a slight amount of traction, blithely sails over them, and sometimes executes extended lines in a soft, non-threatening manner.

Leaving ample room for Malinverni's bounding single note combinations and chordal comments, Hagans's "Venice—Cities & Memory" solo is in a constant state of flux. He ably fuses brief bravado themes, steely extended lines, and sputtering afterthoughts. The trumpeter floats forlorn reveries over the band, a bent note blooms into a lovely phrase, and a few energetic runs are all part of a solemn improvisation on "Salem—Hester Prynne."


Track Listing: I Love Paris; New Orleans - Cities & Desire; Chicago; Venice - Cities & Memory; Cities & Time; Lonely Town; Istanbul; Salem - Hester Prynne; There's A Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York; A City Called Heaven.

Personnel: Pete Malinverni: piano; Tim Hagans: trumpet and flugelhorn; Rich Perry: tenor saxophone; Ugonna Okegwo: bass; Tom Melito: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Reservoir Music | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Back Home" CD/LP/Track Review Back Home
by Mark F. Turner
Published: May 6, 2016
Read "The Volume Surrounding The Task" CD/LP/Track Review The Volume Surrounding The Task
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 26, 2016
Read "As If By Magic" CD/LP/Track Review As If By Magic
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "My Head is Listening" CD/LP/Track Review My Head is Listening
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "Cornua Copiae" CD/LP/Track Review Cornua Copiae
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "The Candy Men" CD/LP/Track Review The Candy Men
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 28, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!