Gianni Basso / Andrea Pozza

Makin' Whoopee

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The young pianist Andrea Pozza meets veteran tenor saxophonist Gianni Basso on this mostly duo date from 2003. Basso's rich tone is reminiscent of Ben Webster throughout the date, while Pozza's lush support indicates a very promising future. The selections include a number of long-forgotten gems, such as "November Girl" (recorded by Carmen McRae with its composer, Francy Boland) and the unjustly obscure Duke Ellington ballad "Lady of the Lavender Mist," one of the maestro's subtlest ballads; the duo makes the most of its explorations of them. Anthony Newley's "Who Can I Turn To" is forever associated with the late Bill Evans' memorable interpretation, but Pozza and Basso devise their own enticing arrangement. They also cover standards from the swing era and earlier, including buoyant takes of "I Hear a Rhapsody" and "I Want to Be Happy." Trumpeter Enrico Rava is added for the two jaunty takes of the old chestnut "Makin' Whoopee."