Heaven is pianist/composer Pete Malinverni’s latest trio outing, featuring with Ben Allison, bass and Akira Tana, drums. Also featured on one guest selection each are Karrin Allyson (voice), Jon Faddis (trumpet) and Steve Wilson (alto saxophone). After the loss of his wife, singer Jody Sandhaus, and an (ultimately false) health scare of his own, Malinverni was inspired to make a recording of music originating from - and directed overtly to - the spirit. To that end, he’s chosen some American Spirituals, some Ellington compositions, one by Curtis Mayfield, another by Hungarian-Jewish martyr Hannah Senesh and an original Malinverni take on Psalm 23.
The music is contemplative but joyful, too. It expresses a wonder at the life we live and a realization that, for those who choose to see it that way, this, indeed is Heaven.