|Nicola Conte & Stefania Dipierro — Natural (February 26, 2016)|
Nicola Conte & Stefania Dipierro — Natural (February 26, 2016) Born: Bari, Apulia, Italy
Genres: Bossa nova, acid jazz, jazz fusion, Latin jazz, world music
Album release: February 26, 2016
Record Label: Far Out Recordings
01 Maracatu Atomico 3:30
02 Softly as in a Morning Sunrise 4:01
03 A Gira 3:37
04 Within You and I 3:09
05 Open the Door 4:08
06 Ainda Mais Amor 3:17
07 Caminhos Cruzados 4:47
08 The Meaning of Love 3:41
09 Natural 3:38
10 I Feel the Sun On Me 3:43
11 A Menina Dança 3:21
12 Vento Bravo 4:59
13 Que Maravilha 4:33
14 Joia 2:56
♦ J. Mautner, N. Jacobina 1
♦ O. Hammerstein II, S. Romberg 2
♦ B. Scala, U. Silva 3
♦ N. Conte 4
♦ B. Carter 5
♦ F. Savino, N. Conte, S. Dipierro 6, 9
♦ A.C. Jobim, N. Mendonça 7
♦ S. Kuhn 8
♦ F. Savino, N. Conte 10
♦ M. Moreira 11
♦ E. Lobo, P.C. Pinheiro 12
♦ J. Ben, Toquinho 13
♦ Caetano Veloso 14Personnel:
♠ Stefania Dipierro: vocals;
♠ Fabrizio Bosso: trumpet;
♠ Gaetano Partipilo: alto sax, flute;
♠ Pietro Lussu: piano, Wurlitzer, electric piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond C3;
♠ Mirko Signorile: piano, Fender Rhodes;
♠ Rory More: Hammond C3;
♠ Luca Alemanno: fender bass, double bass;
♠ Nicola Angelucci: drums;
♠ Marco Valeri: drums;
♠ Dario Congedo: drums;
♠ Fabio Accardi: drums;
♠ Pierpaolo Bisogno: congas, percussion;
♠ Liviana Ferri: percussion;
♠ Emanuele Ferrari: tambourine;
♠ Melanie Charles: backing vocals;
♠ Fabrizio Savino: guitars;
♠ Nicola Conte: guitars.Description:
°» Natural is the latest collaboration between musical travellers and kindred spirits Nicola Conte and Stefania Dipierro, the culmination of a relationship rooted in a shared belief in the spiritually healing powers of music. The Italian duo is set to take 2016 by storm with a sensual, sumptuous and highly accomplished record, firmly anchored in the traditions of Brazilian bossa nova, samba and jazz.
°» Stefania and Nicola first came together as members of the seminal 90s musical collective Fez, with Nicola leading the group. This period, one full of inspiration and discovery, laid the seeds for Natural. Though Stefania lent her enviable vocal talents to many bands over the years and Nicola went on to an illustrious production career, outside of a handful of tracks from Nicola’s album Jet Sounds, it was not until now that the stars aligned again, allowing these two mercurial talents to merge their musical sensibilities once again to access the deep spirituality that is at the core of their approach to sound. Stefania’s ongoing musical journey has ensured that her connection to, and understanding of jazz runs deep, as she resoundingly demonstrates throughout Natural. With Nicola once again in the production seat, the album serves as the defining showcase for her inimitable vocal talents.
°» Nicola first achieved international acclaim for his signature style of samba–influenced acid–jazz, which also drew inspiration from 60s and 70s Italian film soundtracks. Alongside his production work Nicola has laid out his musical vision through his guitar playing and songwriting, with numerous studio albums including 2004’s Other Directions, released on Schema, a French Subsidiary of Blue Note Records. His compilation series Viagem, all 5 volumes of which have been released on Far Out, provide an insight into the sounds of the past that have inspired his music of today, a peerless collection of lost bossa and samba jazz from the swinging Brazilian 60s.
°» On this new collaborative release for Far Out, Conte’s forward thinking production cleverly compliments and contrasts with the warmth of Dipierro’s laid back inflection and gloriously rich timbres. Natural is aptly named, considering the ease with which Stefania and Nicola have re–assumed the roles of muse to one another, a musical relationship providing the deepest access to the poetry within their sound. The album’s title track and first single is a perfect introduction to their world, a masterful blend of global influences in which a propulsive Afro–rhythm bolstered by a searing funk guitar, whilst soothing Rhodes chords provide a distinctly Brazilian warmth and Stefania’s vocals offer up an enriching melody to soothe the heart and engage the mind. Alongside original compositions from Nicola and others, Natural also tantalisingly promises some inspired re–interpretations of classic Brazilian and jazz pieces: Trio Tenura’s exemplary bossa groove A Gira and Steve Kuhn’s beautiful The Meaning of Love are among the tracks respectfully imbued with an updated resonance. The scintillating blend of jazz and bossa alongside a contemporary sensibility makes for a debut collaboration. A timeless example of the special places Brazilian music can go with a beautiful voice and a smooth groove, marking out Dipierro as a natural talent of the highest order.
By CHRIS M. SLAWECKI, Published: May 7, 2016 / Score: ****½
°» Based in their homeland of Italy, composer, multi–instrumentalist and producer Nicola Conte first worked with singer–songwriter Stefania Dipierro in Conte’s 1990s collective called Fez. When Fez disbanded, Dipierro moved on to share her rich and succulent voice through a series of other collaborations, while Conte released a series of works in samba–influenced acid–jazz that was acclaimed throughout Europe, including his five–volume series Viagem, a look back at bossa and samba jazz lost in the past which inspired his music in the present.
°» Their first collaboration in fifteen years, Natural reunites Conte as guitarist, songwriter and producer, with Dipierro as songwriter and vocalist, for a program of originals, jazz classics, and bossa/samba classics in the company of some of Italy’s finest jazz musicians, including and especially trumpeter Fabrizio Bosso and Gaetano Partipilo on alto sax and flute. It radiates the gloriously warm, glowing groove of Brazilian samba filtered through European jazz and hip–hop, while Dipierro’s stylish voice pours into your ear like smooth, smoky whiskey perfectly shaken and served over the rocks of Conte’s shimmering production.
°» Dipierro’s voice also suggests several seminal points of reference. It gently echoes Astrud Gilberto’s classic bossa nova throughout “Softly As in a Morning Sunrise” and Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Caminhos Cruzados,” while “Ainda Mais Amor” suggests Bebel Gilberto (daughter of Joao Gilberto, not Astrud) working out a cool keyboard groove with Brazilian fusion pioneers Azymuth.
°» But the sadly beautiful, melancholic sound of Helen Folasade Adu (Sade) comes through strongest of all: In the way Dipierro caresses and reshapes the line “It’s hard to be true, so please come open the door” in Betty Carter’s “Open the Door”; the way she phrases and self–harmonizes in Conte’s streamlined “I Feel the Sun On Me”; and especially the title track, which sounds built up from the rhythmic blueprint of Sade’s “Keep Looking.”
°» Bosso’s trumpet sings prettily, nuanced and spirited, alongside Dipierro’s doe–eyed vocal in Conte’s loose arrangement of Steve Kuhn’s “The Meaning of Love,” and the peaceful, soft as a sunrise “Que Maravilha.” The curtain finally comes down with “Joia,” a crackling percussion/vocal duet from the Airto Moreira/Flora Purim Brazilian tradition.
°» But these descriptions and explanations don’t really do justice to Conte’s graceful, flowing musical poetry. Some music grabs and holds you more than other music. Natural simply will not let me go. °» http://www.allaboutjazz.com/
|Nicola Conte & Stefania Dipierro — Natural (February 26, 2016)|