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Pete Malinverni

On The Town - Pete Malinverni Plays Leonard Bernstein

Review by Gary Hill

All the songs here are compositions originally by Leonard Bernstein. You probably got that from the title, though, right? The music here is performed by a classic jazz trio outfit of piano, drums and bass. I suppose the argument could be made for this to go under non-prog as standard jazz, but I think it gets experimental and fusion-like enough to land it under prog. No matter your take on that classification, though, you are likely to enjoy this if you dig jazz. It has some great performances and interpretations.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 5. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
New York New York
A piano dominated arrangement brings this in, and they continue on that theme as the groove develops. This gets into some more experimental territory as it continues.
Lucky To Be Me
While piano is again King here, the bass really gets some cool moments on this number. It's perhaps a bit less experimental and more traditional than the opener was. It's also a great tune.
Somewhere
The piano that starts this is gentler and quite pretty. The song eventually works out to more of a full jazz groove that has some cool textures and angles. This seems to land between the first two songs in terms of experimental nature.
Cool
I really love the driving groove and fusion-like jamming on this. The number is another lands more on the experimental side. It has a lot of drama and intensity. It's one of my favorites on the album, really. There is a short drum solo near the end of this.
Simple Song
This is perhaps a bit simpler than some of the rest. That doesn't prevent them from putting in some cool and rather inspired jamming on the number as they explore the musical possibilities. This definitely wanders toward the experimental zones.
I Feel Pretty
I really love the piano work on this, but ignore the bass at your own peril. This familiar number gets an intriguing and entertaining reworking here.
Lonely Town
Piano brings this in by itself. The rest of the instruments join, and we're off into a cool bluesy groove that oozes cool and charm. This is more of a traditional jazz jam than some of the others here are. I really dig the bass solo section a lot, but this whole tune is great.
Some Other Time
I really like this one a lot. It has a lot of fun built into it. It's less experimental than some of the others, but it's certainly packed full of charm.
It's Love
Another solid jazz number, this gets a bit exploratory, but never loses sight of its origins. There is some killer bass and percussion work on this number. It's another strong piece on a disc full of strong music.
A Night On The Town
I really dig the driving bass on a lot of this cut. The number has some great instrumental passages and musical explorations. It makes for quite a satisfying closer to the album.
 
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