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.
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.
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.
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)
Alberto Pibiri Upcoming Shows
Alberto Pibiri trio
Shanghai Jazz 7 -1030 pm
1818 24 Main Street, Madison, NJ 07940
Alberto Pibiri trio
Long Beach Jazz Festival
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