Renato Sellani

Just Friends

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Veteran pianist Renato Sellani is joined by a promising young trombonist, Gianluca Petrella, (who studied under the brilliant Enrico Rava) for this date consisting of nine standards from the Great American Songbook and favorite jazz compositions. Since all of these works have been extensively recorded over the decades, it's a challenge to find a new path within each of them. But that's not a problem, as Sellani provides just the right backing to stimulate his young partner throughout the session. Among the most successful tracks are the duet interpretation of "Lover Man," the playful "Stella By Starlight," with its disguised introduction and languid approach, and Petrella's effective mute work in a luxurious take of Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo." The trombonist sits out the trio rendition of "Off Minor," which showcases Massimo Moriconi's excellent bass work. The final selection, "Just Friends," is a duet from a 2002 concert performance. Sellani is consistently brilliant, while Petrella is not adverse to taking risks, though he bites off more than he can chew once in awhile. Recommended.

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