WBGO Radar

Pete Malinverni: "Emerging Markets"

pete malinverni CD emerging markets

For pianist Pete Malinverni, the world is his palette - literally. He is moved by those geographical places that have touched him.

Pete's 2008 release Invisible Cities  (Reservoir) provided clear sight lines of Paris, New Orleans, Venice and Istanbul, among other locales.

Malinverni does this, as Thomas Conrad of Jazz Times describes, with "exhilarating moment-by-moment creativity with precise, detailed, elegant playing, highly accomplished, even more successful poetically."

Pete brings a significant background in classical and jazz studies to move through emotionally provocative compositions for Emerging Markets, his upcoming release, which focus on what Co-Producer Doug Moody describes as "the cities left behind in our own country that should be seen as the real emerging markets."

For his latest gig, Pete's rig includes the formidable talents of tenor saxophonist Rich Perry, bassist Doug Weiss, trumpeter Bruce Harris and drummer Victor Lewis.

First stop is "Buffalo: City of No Illusions." The track has a Monkish feel with an optimistic feel for the upward chin of the people who remain strong and forward-focused. Positive statements from trumpeter Harris and tenorist Perry highlight this one.

"Cleveland: By the Lake" with its liquid piano introduction, has the group in a steadfast easy feel, the leader's piano working with a gorgeous patience, making space for relaxed statements from the tenor and bass, not unlike someone who's changing for the better and knows exactly how to accomplish intentions.

"Detroit: (Still) Movin' and Groovin'" is a fast-paced Motown mover, feeling like one of those first cars off the line being taken for a spirited test run. With drummer Lewis getting all into the passing lane, Perry's tenor clearly enjoys the ride, with the high octane provided by all.

"Pittsburgh: Steel Will" has Malinverni inspired by Stephen Foster, a native son of Steeltown. Pete's lines are super clean. Perry's tenor is thoughtful with nothing to waste.

"Springfield: Hoop City" gives a nice bounce to what the Massachusetts town gave us - basketball. As the pace quickens so does the energy. Nice pass-around between the piano's clear statements, drummer Lewis's syncopation and trumpeter Harris's fast break.

"Newark: The Eagle Flies" is a tribute to The Newark Eagles, who won the Negro League World Series in 1946. Malinverni says, "I'm rooting for Newark." It's obvious in his sensitive development of the tune, Perry's late night feel for the Renaissance City and Weiss's basswork.

"St. Louis: The Gateway" is an energized tune, with Malinverni channeling his early days as pianist/calliope player on the Delta Queen Steamboat, out of New Orleans. Trumpet, tenor, bass & drums all make this New Orleans flavored piece a trip not a destination, with Pete's piano showing the way.

Our final destination is "Milwaukee: Hammerin' Hank,"  a tribute to baseball legend Henry Aaron, who began his chase of Babe Ruth's home run record as a Milwaukee Brave. Hear the horns chase each other as this trip begs for this group to book another. From listening, I'm sure

Pete Malinverni sits in his home base of New York planning the next one.

Emerging Markets comes out May 12th.

   - Gary Walker, WBGO music director

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