Franco D'Andrea

Solo 8: Classic Jazz

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Franco d'Andrea's eighth volume of solo piano for Philology is a most unusual CD. Although it is titled Solo 8: Classic Jazz and has medleys that contain many well-known songs, the stunning 20-minute-plus opener is a freeform collage of many styles of jazz (from stride to post-bop and destinations in between) before it finally signals the arrival of "C Jam Blues," though it doesn't remain there for long. The three shorter medleys are quite a bit more accessible while remaining adventurous methods for the pianist to show off his incredible chops and sense of jazz history. The one breather from medleys is "I Found a New Baby," though it also follows a more meandering path than typical for this old warhorse. While this CD might not be the best initial purchase for someone unfamiliar with Franco d'Andrea, once a buyer has had an opportunity to hear some of his other solo releases it's a safe bet that this intriguing disc will join the others in his or her collection.

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