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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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NICOLA CONTE

Love and Revolution

Impulse! by Universal
0602527687087

 

 


1. Do You Feel Like I Feel
2. Love from the Sun
3. Here
4. Black Spirits
5. Mystery of You
6. Shiva
7. Ghana
8. Quiet Dawn
9. Scarborough Fair
10. Love and Revolution
11. Bantu
12. All Praises to Allah
13. Ra in Egypt
14. Temple of Far East
15. I'm the Air

Jos‚ James - Vocals (tracks 2, 3, 14)
Bridgette Amofah - Vocals (tracks 1, 10)
Alice Ricciardi - Vocals (track 9)
Veronika Harcsa - Vocals (track 15)
Nailah Porter - Vocals (tracks 2, 4, 10, 12)
Melanie Charles - Vocals (tracks 5, 6, 8, 10)
Gregory Porter - Vocals (tracks 1, 7)
Ghalia Benali - Vocals (track 13)
Till Br”nner - Trumpet (tracks 3, 5, 14)
Magnus Lindgren - Tenor sax, flute (tracks 1-14)
Fabrizio Bosso - Trumpet (tracks 1, 7)
Teppo Makynen - Drums (tracks 1-10, 12-15)
Pietro Lussu - Piano, electric piano (tracks 1-10, 12-15)
Logan Richardson - Alto sax (tracks 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 14)
Timo Lassy - Baritone sax, flute (tracks 1, 3-6, 8, 10, 12)
Tim Warfield - Tenor sax (tracks 2, 9, 13)
Gaetano Partipilo - Alto sax, flute (tracks 1, 3-10, 12-14)
Paolo Bededettini - Double bass (tracks 1-10, 12-15)
Nicolas Folmer - Trumpet (tracks 1, 4, 6, 8, 12)
Flavio Boltro - Trumpet (tracks 9, 12)
Nicola Conte - Guitar (tracks 1, 3-6, 8-10, 15)
Michael Pinto - Vibes (tracks 1, 3-6, 8, 12, 14)
Peter Fredriksson - Trombone (tracks 1, 3-6, 12, 14)
Pierpaolo Bisogno - Conga drums, vibes, percussion (tracks 1-13, 15)
Andrea Santoro - Programming (track 11)
Moufadhel Adhoum - Luth (track 13)
Bert Cornelis - Sitar (track 9)
Azzadine Jazouli - Percussion (track 13)

 

Nicola Conte sounds like a woman's name but the brains behind this CD is an Italian male who composed eight of the 15 tracks as well as supplying the lyrics for two others and playing guitar on the majority of tunes. Recorded in the Italian city of Bari, this album is like the United Nations on disc, as it uses musicians from numerous countries, performing in a variety of styles.

As the front cover of the CD suggests, much of the music harks back to the flower power era, as well as the soul jazz of the fifties and sixties. The flower power mood is evident in the title-track, whose lyrics include such lines as: "Bring love all over your senses/See all daisies/Jewels of nature". Several other songs have a mystic or spiritual message, although the lyrics don't always make much sense. And there are a few instrumentals, like Bantu, which is "programmed" monotonously.

Because there are so many participants, this album is something of a mixed bag, from the melodic to the baffling. The vocalists - all eight of them - vary in quality. Gregory Porter is outstanding with his rich, mellow voice which is reminiscent of Al Jarreau. Nailah Porter sounds attractively like Lizz Wright in Black Spirits. It is interesting to find a rendition here of Paul Simon's version of Scarborough Fair, although it doesn't sound quite right with a sitarist among the accompanists and a non-British singer. There is not much room for instrumental solos, but noteworthy contributions come from trumpeter Till Br”nner in Temple of Far East and saxist Gaetano Partipilo on Ghana and Ra in Egypt.

The CD booklet is colourful but laid out confusingly, with the songs and personnels in a different order from how they appear on the album. Altogether this disc is a strange mixture, veering from the intriguing to the puzzling. I suppose it is best recommended to those who like their jazz to be exotic and unpredictable.

Tony Augarde
www.augardebooks.co.uk



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