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Nicola Conte - Free Souls
Vinyl LP
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Nicola Conte

Free Souls


Released: 23rd June 2014 | 15 track acid jazz album

The early 60s had seen a change of direction in musical research, especially in Jazz: a turn

into deepness. There was an urgent need to walk away from the research of an aesthetic

dimension, in order to move towards a more intimate objective, closer to human feelings and


Horizontal improvisations appeared to decrease, while vertical thrived: a movement directed

to transcendence, God and the cosmos.

It was the time in which John Coltrane gave birth to that four-part suite which is still considered

one of the 20th century masterpieces. A Love Supreme, was made up of four different

moments of a monotheistic pray whilst simultaneously reciting an immortal mantra. Deep - as

we would call it today; spiritual and enchanting. This mantra brought closer to Jazz a whole

generation who at that time was flirting with rockʼnʼroll – it was not Bitches Brew, which was a

high profile operation, but conveyed with a certain spurious charm.

Deepness and consciousness had roots in something changing, something that involved proud

and conscious musicians who were forging a new language, which would have completely

changed music. Meanwhile, Funk and Soul literally exploded, anything but different

expressions of a common feeling.

If we had to find a way to situate now Free Souls, in an age in which everything has been

already played, from Rebetiko to Gamelan, from Rap to Klezmer - an era where mannerism is

background music for supermarkets – those are the times we should look at.

In those times deepness enfolded a way of conceiving music, especially Afro-American music

which is naturally nourished by Jazz and its derivatives.

Is Soul the right word to describe this movement? So letʼs use it without hesitation, because

Soulʼs mood is the only one which had been capable to enrich all the sounds that accompanied

us through out our days till now. Even the most mechanical Techno bars can transmit

deepness when Soul is seeded within them.

Free Souls is pure Soul music when Marvin Parksʼ voice softly embraces Shades of Joy

melody and If I Should Lose You (a standard by Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger which became

famous thanks to Hank Mobleyʼs version); is Africa when Tashaʼs World and Bridgette Amofah

are surrounded by the solos of Magnus Lindgren and Timo Lassy (both playing flute on Soul

Revelation and Baltimore Oriole); is classy Jazz with the exceptional phrasing of jazzmen like

Gaetano Partipilo (on Goddess Of The Sea and Ode To Billie Joe), Francesco Lento (one of

the most promising Jazz trumpeter of these days, on Goddess Of The Sea and Ode To Billie

Joe), Timo Lassy (on Free Souls), Greg Osby (on Ahmadʼs Blues), Rosario Giuliani (on If I

Should Lose You), Daniele Scannapieco (on Uhuru), Logan Richardson (on Sunrise, definitely

a gem), of Fabrizio Bosso (on the beautiful African Other Blues with the spoken of Marvin

Parks); and jazz again with the extraordinary vocals of Josè James on Goddess of The Sea.

The groove and rhythm section had been provided by Teppo Makynen, Lorenzo Tucci,

Pierpaolo Bisogno, Paolo Benedettini, Luca Alemanno, Pietro Ciancaglini and Michael Pinto,

the right lineup to highlight this great project.

Noteworthy is the contribution of Melanie Charles (Spirit Of Nature, Ahmadʼs Blues, Live Your

Life) and Heidi Vogel (from the Cinematic Orchestraʼs combo on Sandalia Dela).

The patterns of this rich artistical web constructed by Nicola Conte reveal decades of listening

sessions and deep musical beliefs.

An accomplished juggler when it comes to play with styles, capable to invent modern

structures, Nicola got us used to his ability to blend harmonically different musical worlds and

create cooperation between great musicians. Deepness is the added value of this album,

something in between consciousness and spirituality. Nothing to share with futile trends, this

record is a result of an urgent need to research in the depth of the soul and musical influences.

I have known Nicola for too long to not understand that all this comes from the necessity to

focus on an inexhaustible will to progress and desire for self-improvement, but most of all, from

an unutterable passion for this marvellous universe called music.

Nicola Gaeta

author of the book Bam, il Jazz oggi a New York