Il Cuore E Uno Zingaro | Alfredo Malabello

“Piano Man’s Singular 50th” / The West Australian

As far as birthdays go, Alfredo Malabello will probably always find it hard to beat his 50th. That was the day late last year when the Perth singer and piano man signed on the dotted line for his debut album, ‘Ciao Bella’.

Those who followed the 2009 SBS crime series Carla Cametti PD, starring Diana Glenn and Vince Colosimo, might remember Malabello as the singing cook, Leo Cametti. It was his first acting gig and since then Malabello has appeared in more than two dozen movies, short films and video clips, most of them local. Oddly, it was the SBS show – rather than an extensive musical performance career – which sparked the idea for the ‘Ciao Bella’ album. “I have played many of the songs all over the world” says the musician whose decades-old piano man career has seen him play for royalty, in stately homes and watch the unfolding of Melbourne’s gangland underbelly from behind the keys.

Through his own choosing, the classic Italian and English songs from ‘Ciao Bella’ are old-fashioned, dating back to the late 60’s and 70’s. “I learnt these songs growing up in an Italian family but the versions on the album have been rearranged and are more lush” he says. “Fantastic songs have been written and these are beautiful ones. It doesn’t mean you can’t make them your own with an arrangement. It’s nice to let some of them back into the light sometimes. “At the same time, this was about pleasing myself. You have to be happy with songs before you can perform them and give them their own life and say “this is me” …”. ‘Ciao Bella’, which has just been released, contains three originals which Malabello co-wrote with local collaborators William Reid, Darren Halifax, Roy Martinez and Abramo Pietropaolo. Halifax recorded the album in Perth’s Satellite Recording Studio and Martinez produced the album.

A seasoned live performer, Malabello says that by starting his recording career later in life, at 50 he feels more mentally, spiritually, musically and emotionally ready for the next step, more so than if this had happened when he was much younger.

The West Australian