On first glance, it may seem unusual for an emerging artist to call his debut album Jazz Legacy. Yet the minute Italian born, NYC based pianist Alberto Pibiri gets crackin’ on “For Oscar,” the brisk, free-swinging tribute to his all-time top influence Oscar Peterson, we come to understand that he’s all about bringing the legacy of jazz piano music forward in stylistically expansive way.
Creating both boldly brisk and gently lyrical melodies and spritely improvisations with his with his core trio of Paul Gill (bass) and Paul Wells (drums), Pibiri delves into everything from energetic “New Bossa” to the most cheerful kind of “A Blues” imaginable.
When he’s not blowing heavy on sax, Adrian Cunningham is connecting us to an earlier time in jazz and swing history with his wistful clarinet on tunes like “Walkin’.” Vocalist Sheila Jordan, who sponsored Piribi’s artist visa which first allowed him to perform in the U.S., adds her tender, world-wise vocals to “Be Free” and “For Sure,” a lively duet with Jay Clayton.
Alberto Pibiri’s Jazz Legacy is a powerful introduction to a major new jazz talent.