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. ~ Steve HueyPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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