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Renato Sellani: Standards

Renato Sellani and Gianni Basso were among the leaders of Italian jazz in the late 1940s, and they still play their butts off.

Standards is a piano-trio date containing 14 staple items from the Great American Songbook. Sellani approaches material like “Lover Man” and “Autumn Leaves” and “Body and Soul” with such thoughtful composure and understatement that he can create an initial impression of blandness. But by declining extroversion, Sellani compels the listener to come to him. By the second time through, Standards weaves a spell whose forces of attraction are gently irresistible. Sellani’s touch is so graceful, and his ideas about these songs so subtle, that his program feels like a suite, a unified meditation on an internationally shared history.

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