While major jazz labels frequently seem to be pushing the latest young stars-to-be, veterans like pianist Pete Malinverni are often well under the radar of the average jazz fan, along with many of those in the jazz media. Fortunately, there are smaller companies such as Reservoir who make it their mission to get greater exposure for deserving musicians, and this fresh trio session with bassist Dennis Irwin and drummer Leroy Williams is hardly a flash in the pan, but a CD which will stand the test of time. Malinverni's skills as a composer are equal to his piano chops; his infectious opener, "Simpatico," is a playful post-bop vehicle with plenty of twists. He composed the warm, yet not excessively maudlin "Elegy" in memory of two old friends who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center. The very rhythmic "Little David" comes from a longer suite written by the pianist about the Biblical battle between David and Goliath; the gospel flavor is evident in his playing throughout this lively work. Malinverni also succeeds in finding fresh approaches to old chestnuts such as "My Shining Hour" and "Long Ago and Far Away." But the gem of this highly recommended CD is his melancholy arrangement of "Autumn in New York," which he explains in his liner notes as inspired by his reflections surrounding the aftermath of September 11, 2001.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden