Renato Sellani

Also known as R. Sellani, Sellani
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Discography of Renato Sellani:

# Release title Total tracks Type of release is Imprint date Label
1 Jazz A Confronto 9 10 Audio 1974 Horo Records
2 Le Cose Inutili 10 Audio Philology
3 Radio Days 13 Audio Philology
4 L'Avventura Dell'Incontro 1 8 Audio 2003 Philology
5 Magicians At Work 2 7 Audio 2003 Philology
6 Pianoforte 8 Audio 1968 Dire (2)
7 Galleria Del Corso 9 Audio 2004 Giotto Music
8 Delicatessen 11 Audio Philology
9 Sellani Jazz Piano 8 Audio 1977 Dire (2)

Born in Senigallia ( Ancona, Italy ) in January 1927, † Milano, October 31, 2014.

In 1958 he left Ancona to live in Milan, where he had the occasion to join Franco Cerri, Gil Cuppini and to meet the historical group Basso-Valdambrini.

Great style, taste and love for music, as expression of an inner world more then mere virtuosity, these are the characteristics of Renato Sellani’s music. Soon he started collaboration with great artists as Chet Baker, Lee Konitz, then Gerry Mulligan, Helen Merril, Stephane Grappelli, Buddy Colette, Herb Geller, Phil Woods and so on. His particular musical feeling let him to play with famous singers like Sarah Vaughan, Ginger Rogers, Lilian Terry, Shirley Bunnie Foy, Mina. He has also recorded a lot as side man or soloist.

He has been called the Hank Jones of Italy. The two share eternal youth and innate sweetness, both personal and musical. Another comparison is Tommy Flanagan because Sellani's taste is unerring and he has always been in high demand as an accompanist for singers. For many years he worked with Mina, the most important female pop vocalist in Italy in the '60s. He has also accompanied American singers from Ginger Rogers to Sarah Vaughan and Helen Merrill.

Sellani does not read music. His history is unusual (especially for an Italian jazz musician) because he started late. He was born in Senigallia, in the Marche region. He went to Rome to study political science at the University. His mother had been an opera soprano but he had never played music until he got hooked on jazz in the nightclubs of Rome. He says that he "went to listen every night" and began teaching himself piano at the home of a friend who owned an instrument. It was a few years after the end of World War II. Italy was emerging from the fascist era and even though there were not nearly so many good Italian jazz musicians as now, in one respect the scene was more vital: jazz and night life were more connected. There were many more places for musicians to play. Sellani must have been a natural, because soon he was playing in those nightclubs himself and by 1958 he was good enough to be Chet Baker's first pianist in Italy.

The fact that Sellani is one of the most complete, most romantically seductive interpreters of standards in all of jazz is criminally underappreciated outside Italy. The good news is that he has recorded prolifically for Paolo Piangiarelli's Italian label Philology, titles available in the United States. Sellani has recorded over 40 albums for Philology, in solo and trio settings and also in small ensembles with a large cross-section of Italy's most important jazz instrumentalists and singers. Much of the Great American Songbook is memorably covered, as well as Italian popular songs and Sellani originals. His walking speed may have diminished, but his creativity has not.

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