Alberto Pibiri Jazz Legacy
Street Date: September 7, 2018
ALBERTO PIBIRI: piano, PAUL GILL: bass, PAUL WELLS: drums,
ADRIAN CUNNINGHAM: tenor saxophone & clarinet,
DAVE STRYKER: guitar (track 9),
SHEILA JORDAN: vocal (tracks 7 & 8),
JAY CLAYTON: vocal (track 8),
MIRIAM WAKS: vocal (track 9)
A superb young jazz pianist, Alberto Pibiri builds upon
the inspiration of Oscar Peterson on his new Jazz Legacy release.
Pibiri also emerges as an important new songwriter, debuting ten originals with his trio, Adrian Cunningham on reeds, and several guests including veteran singers Sheila Jordan and Jay Clayton.
Alberto Pibiri is a very impressive up-and-coming jazz pianist and songwriter. His playing is inspired by Oscar Peterson (whose virtuosic style he can duplicate) but he also displays his own musical personality throughout Jazz Legacy along with a real skill for creating fresh new melodies.
On Jazz Legacy, Pibiri is featured in a trio with bassist Paul Gill and drummer Paul Wells that is sometimes expanded by the inclusion of the skilled tenor-saxophonist and clarinetist Adrian Cunningham. The great singers Sheila Jordan and Jay Clayton perform together on “For Sure,” Ms. Jordan is featured on “Be Free,” and the soulful “Oh Yeah” has fine vocalizing from Miriam Waks along with a guitar solo by guest Dave Stryker.
The memorable program begins with “For Oscar,” a tribute to Oscar Peterson that sounds like the type of joyful song that the immortal pianist could have written. Pibiri shows what he learned from studying Peterson’s many recordings. “Walkin’” (no relation to the jazz standard) has a laid back and playful melody that inspires a fine solo from Cunningham on clarinet. The beautiful ballad “My Sunshine,” the catchy and likable “New Bossa” (with Cunningham on tenor) and the relaxed “A Blues” could each become standards in the future due to their strong themes and the excellent playing by the musicians.
The blazing tempo of “Kiss Kiss” is easily essayed by the quartet with impressive improvisations by clarinetist Cunningham and Pibiri. Sheila Jordan gives the ballad “Be Free” a heartfelt treatment and interacts happily with Jay Clayton on the scat-filled “For Sure.” “Oh Yeah,” which has lyrics and singing by Miriam Waks in addition to a fine spot for Dave Stryker, has Cunningham recalling Stanley Turrentinewith his soulful tenor playing. The impressive program concludes with the pianist all alone on “It’s Me,” swinging his way through another classic theme.
Alberto Pibiri was born and raised in Italy where he studied classical music and jazz. He was so inspired by the recordings of Oscar Peterson that in his early years his trio often featured Peterson’s music at concerts and festivals in Italy and France. He met Sheila Jordan at one of her workshops in France and she was so impressed with Pibirí’s musical talents that she not only became his main mentor but sponsored his artist visa so he could move and perform in the United States.
Based in New York ever since, Piberi has worked with a variety of top musicians including Ms. Jordan, Dave Stryker, Harry Allen, Essiet Essiet and Les DeMerle. He made his recording debut as a leader with 2011’s NYC (in a quartet with Stryker) and recently toured Australia with Adrian Cunningham, recording Swing It Out for the Arbors label with Professor Cunningham And His Old School. In 2017 Pibiri, who has played at many jazz venues including Smalls, Fat Cat. Blue Note, Trumpets and Shanghai Jazz as both a leader and a sideman, performed at Carnegie Hall.
Jazz Legacy, which is being released by SRI, a label directed by the legendary Shelley Leibowitz, gives listeners the opportunity to hear Alberto Pibiri, a rapidly developing talent, early in his career, performing his memorable songs with top-notch players.
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