Nicola Conte | Rituals – [Emarcy, 2009]
The follow-up to the classic “Other Directions” takes a more vocal route. Featuring mostly live instruments, Nicola Conte is joined by a multitude of players that include Timo Lassy on sax and flute, Fabrizio Bosso and Till Brönner on trumpets, Pietro Lussu on piano. Vocals are by Alice Ricciardi, José James, Chiara Civello, and Kim Sanders. The whole thing is just so classy.
The style (though not the vocal) resembles Mario Biondi’s wonderful Handful of Soul from a couple years back especially on Ellington’s “Caravan” and the Eastern vibe of “The Nubian Queens“, the latter featuring José James and standout solos by Timo Lassy. Nicola Conte knows “his” jazz and he has written or co-written all the tracks here except two and in an outstanding fashion. Continue reading