Alberto Pibiri is a native of Italy. His passion for jazz has led him to be inspired by the music of Oscar Peterson. A young performer, Pibiri has performed in trios and in ensembles, where he often replicated the work of Peterson. “Jazz Legacy” is meant to capture that dedication to Peterson’s work. Pibiri’s music studies also included classical music, and that influence can be heard on “Jazz Legacy” as well.
Pibiri’s story is an interesting one that shows a young man determined to learn all that he can about music that he loves. He studies with various teachers, one of whom believes in his talent so much that she sponsored his artist visa so that he could gain entry into the US.
“Jazz Legacy” is brought to life by virtue of Pibiri’s stellar playing and a group of legendary players that in some cases, once taught him. For example, Dave Stryker plays guitar on the album, and vocalist and teacher Sheila Jordan sings on two of the album’s 10 tracks.
Alberto Pibiri: the sound of “Jazz Legacy”
Usually for logistical purposes, I begin a discussion of an album’s works by starting with the earlier tracks and working my way into the later tracks. However, “Jazz Legacy” literally finds me wanting to work my way from the middle. The song “A Blues” is seemingly built around the motif of three notes repeated in a bluesy motif that also swings with a bit of gospel. The piano work is vibrant and hypnotic. The notes ring and ring when Pibiri showcases the instrument. The runs and trills are nice details, too. There is also a part when the piano and drums are playing what sounds to be the same pattern, and it is as if the instruments were racing. There is nothing on this song that drags the song down. One listen is not enough. This is one for jazz fans to tell their friends about.
Also vibrant and classy in a way that Pibiri is just now showing a wider audience that he is capable of, is “For Oscar.” Under Pibiri’s command, the piano comes to life in a jubilant blaze of sound. The notes are resonant and the motifs are dizzying in their arrangement. It sounds as if the young pianist has certainly found a way to pay homage to the musician that inspired him. There is a classic rush of drums before the piano motif changes and the song swings triumphantly to its logical conclusion.
US audiences are new to Pibiri. With the release of “Jazz Legacy” there is hope that even more people will find opportunity to tune into the way Pibiri makes the piano sound new, even to people who have been listening to piano-based music for decades.