Italian pianists Franco d'Andrea and Renato Sellani joined forces for a productive studio session on May 9, 2001, resulting in this Philology CD and a companion release, Magicians at Work. Although the order of the actual performances isn't made clear, this disc is dominated by standards from the Great American Songbook, including a delightful "I Love You," a wild "My Funny Valentine" with an interesting out-of-tempo and occasionally ominous sounding introduction, and a richly textured "It Could Happen to You," with the latter song leaning toward what one might expect to hear in a typical radio broadcast of Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz. "Autumn Leaves" has long been considered a standard by American jazz musicians, though the song's origin is French; their dark introduction suggests a storm is brewing. Probably less familiar to jazz audiences is the Italian ballad "Parlami d'Amore Mariu'," though the piano duo romps through it as if it was written as a bop anthem. They close this first volume with campy, choppy blues, which was likely composed on the spot. Franco D'Andrea and Renato Sellani should be congratulated for finding new paths to so many frequently recorded standards; every track stands on its own.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden