Review: Italian Latin jazz stalwart Nicola Conte first joined forces with trombonist Gianluca Petrella way back in 2001 on the nu-jazz era "New Standards" single. The pair started working on new material in 2014 and the "Free Your Mind EP" is their third joint release since. They're in a surprisingly up-beat, club-ready mood on EP opener "Free Your Mind", where Ebo Taylor style guitars, Africa 70 organs, tasty vocal samples and Afrobeat style horn lines are underpinned by a relaxed deep house groove. Vocalist Bridgette Amofah stars on the EP's other two cuts: the percussive tribal jazz of highlight "Imani River" and epic B-side "Infinity", a superb chunk of Afro-tinged deep house that sounds like it was inspired by Kai Alce and Ron Trent records.
Review: Last spotted on wax together 16 years ago on New Standards, Italian kindred spirits and diggers Conte and Petrella collide once again. A culmination of many records savoured and ideas shared between the two friends, this 12" is long overdue and fizzes with fusion. "African Spirit" is focused on a rolling tribal MAW style house rhythm with Gianluca adding his signature trombone with staccato finesse while "New World Shuffle" is a much dreamier, smoky affair that sounds perfect any time between sunset and sunrise. Spiritual.
Review: Nicola Conte and Gianluca Petrella follow up last year's beautiful "African Spirits / New World Shuffle" with two more lavish instrumentals. "Sun Song" lives up to its name with wave after wave of heated musicianship from the belting harmonies to the light-touch keys. "Nigeria" taps deep into the source too as it drives us through the heart of Lagos with full horns and sweeping keys. Spiritual, sun-splashed and vital.