Monday, August 22, 2011

Nicola Conte - Love & Revolution (2011)

Nicola Conte - Love from the Sun by iRieFicus

With Love & Revolution, it's fair to say that Conte, a guitarist who almost never dominates and a musician that often doesn't even participate, comes into his own as a composer and conceptualist. It's a mature work that is more cohesive, satisfying and unique than just about anything Conte has attempted before. A hippy dippy vibe prevails here, as suggested by the retro cover graphics, recalling some of the Impulse work of Dave Mackay and Vicky Hamilton, whose “Here" is heard here. But that's more a superficial catch-all than what this music is all about.

As before, the tendency toward songs with singers prevails here and, as usual, Conte surrounds himself with a variety of young singers who give his music just the right touch of silky soul including José James ("Love From The Sun," “Here," Mal Waldron's “Temple of Far East" set to Conte's words), Gregory Porter ("Do You Feel Like I Do," Jackie McLean's “Ghana" set to Conte's words), Melanie Charles ("Mystery of Love," “Love and Revolution," Cal Massey's “Quiet Dawn,") and Hungarian vocalist Veronika Harcsa ("I'm the Air").

- Doug Payne (All About Jazz)

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