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All Music Guide:
Italian DJ/producer Nicola Conte's loungey brand of acid jazz relies extensively on bossa nova, but is also heavily influenced by the swinging soundtracks of Italian films in the '60s and '70s, plus touches of ethnic music and easy listening kitsch reminiscent of Japan's Pizzicato Five. Part of the loose-knit Fez collective of artsy acid jazz revivalists centered in the Italian town of Bari, Conte was a classically trained musician who instead moved into production and DJing, working with artists like the Paolo Achenza Trio, the Fez Combo, Balanco, Quintetto X, and the Intensive Jazz Sextet. Conte also masterminded the Schema label, which gave many of those artists a home and cultivated a trademark, distinctly Italian approach to acid jazz. As for his own recording career, Conte scored an underground hit with his first single, "Bossa Per Due," which appeared on a variety of compilations and was licensed in the U.S. for an Acura commercial. Conte's first album to be released in America was also titled Bossa Per Due, a slightly reconfigured version of the Italian Jet Sounds; it appeared on Thievery Corporation's ESL (Eighteenth Street Lounge) label in the summer of 2001. The remix album Jet Sounds Revisited followed in late 2002. Two years later, Conte bowed on Blue Note's French subsidiary with an assured jazz date, Other Directions. Quiet Stars and a slew of singles followed before Conte would return with Viagem in 2008.
Nicola Conte is an Italian DJ, producer, guitarist, and bandleader, known initially for introducing an innovative style of acid jazz that incorporates bossa nova themes, melodies drawn from Italian film scores of the 1960s, easy listening themes, and ethnic Indian music. Recently, he has focused much more on latin jazz, in his albums Other Directions (2004, Blue Note & Schema) and Rituals (2008, Schema), and many remixes he has done for contemporaries stretching across many closely related genres.
Conte, a classically-trained musician, is an innovative jazz revivalist and part of what was termed "The Fez Collective", based in the Italian town of Bari, and the Idizioni-Ishatr/Schema Records, a record label known for promoting a distinctly Italian approach to acid jazz as well as jazz music as a whole.
Conte's first album was Jet Sounds of 2000. The single "Bossa per due" gained international recognition and was an underground hit. It was used within a short time for a prime-time commercial for Acura automobiles. The album was licensed for American distribution by Thievery Corporation's [ESL Records|Eighteenth Street Lounge (ESL)] label in the summer of 2001 as Bossa Per Due, and was a slightly reconfigured version of the Italian Jet Sounds album. This was followed by the Jet Sounds Revisited remix album in late 2002. Two years later, Blue Note's French subsidiary released Conte's next album Other Directions. In November 2008, Conte released his album, Rituals.
In November 2009, Nicola released The Modern Sound of Nicola Conte - Versions in Jazz-Dub on Schema Records. Unlike his 2002 remix album which featured artists largely reworking his songs, this two-CD set had Nicola releasing original titles and featured some of his jazz styled remixes of other people's works.
His album Love & Revolution was released in 2011.
Conte has also produced albums by other artists such as Rosalia De Souza and Paolo Achenza Trio.