The Musicorium

Sharing some music.

Nicola Conte: Jet Sounds Revisited

Posted by SP on October 6, 2009

Nicola Conte: Jet Sounds Revisited

Nicola Conte: Jet Sounds Revisited

Nicola Conte is a guy who really gets something that a lot of people miss about jazz. Before the culture at large started looking at jazz as coffee house muzak or something to buy upscale furniture too, jazz was party music. It was club music; dance music. It was meant to be played loud and meant to shake booty. Nicola Conte gets this completely, which is why his melding of Brazilian rhythms, classic West Coast cool vibes and house music works so incredibly well where so many other “acid jazz” artists produce music that’s turgid, generic sounding and completely forgettable.

Nicola Conte’s blend works, I think, because he stays true to his background as a jazz guitarist even when he’s DJ-ing, because he has a first rate understanding of how rhythm works in dance music regardless of the culture it comes from, and because he knows how to create the kinds of aural textures with voices and instruments that makes the golden age of exported Brazilian bossa and samba in particular is so famous. His tunes are built from the inside out around fidelity to rhythm, not slapped together in an unstable mash up of varying influences. For all its craftsmanship though, it doesn’t feel forced or pretentious the way that some otherwise really good house music does at times. Conte keeps it light and fun, quoting from film soundtracks, adding in the odd spoken vocal sample here and there, and just generally showing a great sense of humor about the whole thing.

It’s jazz music for people that like house music, or house music for people that love jazz. I challenge you to put on Jet Sounds Revisited and not be shaking your hips, keeping time, or dancing around your house at least once before it’s over.

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