Riccardo Fassi / Fassi Salis Duo

Totem: Live at the Vatican Radio

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Riccardo Fassi and Antonello Salis are both pianists (Salis also plays accordion and other percussion). This set, recorded at the Vatican radio station, is a driving upturned mess of a concert perpetrated on the idea of the piano as a sound board rather than a musical instrument. That does not mean that this concert is not musical in places, it merely means that music, per se, is not a priority for any of the proceedings here. There are moments when our two protagonists attempt to take on Cecil Taylor's mantle, but it proves to be too musical, and another where they have fun cavorting with jazz before abandoning it into tonal studies, finger exercises, percussive striations, and tonal alchemies that fail to raise anything at all from the ether except perhaps their own gigantic egos. Sorry, but to call this a serious duet between two accomplished musicians is like saying you can see the emperor's new clothes. Don't drink the Kool-Aid; this is musical hooliganism only.