|The inimitable |
A native of Baltimore, Chief Malvaso laughed as he described how his journey as a musician began: "My brother owned a guitar – got one for Christmas but never played it, so I used to sneak it out of his closet and start playing it. I got really interested in it. He asked me to run an errand for him one day and he said he would give me the guitar if I did, and that was my first guitar." Larry Woolridge gave Chief Malvaso his first guitar lessons, and his first paying gig was in a cover band called "Good 'n' Plenty" at the age of 16. His favorite artists include Pat Martino, Jim Hall, Barney Kessel, Pat Metheny, John Scofield and Martin Taylor.
As a member of the Commodores' rhythm section, Chief Malvaso has performed with world-renowned artists such as James Moody and Branford Marsalis, yet when asked to identify his most memorable musical engagement while serving in the Navy he offers, "To me they all have something that you’ll never forget…you know? Some kind of moment….a great solo here, a great vocalist there…in general they’re all good." Upon retirement, Chief Malvaso says he will miss coming to work every day with such world-class musicians, but he is also really looking forward to spending more time with his wife, daughter and sons.
Being on tour with Chief Malvaso and the Commodores has been an incredible, unique musical experience for me. I'm grateful to the members of this band for treating me as one of their own (and answering the countless questions about jazz that I've asked over the past few weeks) and to my shipmates in the Sea Chanters who have, through their hard work, made it possible for me to be out here touring. Spending Veterans Day with residents of Hickory will always be one of my favorite Navy memories.
We are grateful to all those who have served our country. It is humbling to follow in the footsteps of the men and women who played a crucial part in securing the freedoms we enjoy today, and we hope we make our nation's veterans as proud of us as we are of them.
Happy Veterans Day!