Sixteen years after the release of “New Standards” (2001), Italian musicians and jazz revivalists Nicola Conte & Gianluca Petrella are back on Schema Records with a new album, ‘People Need People’. Since the beginning of their collaboration, Conte and Petrella’s goal was to maintain an open concept of sound influenced by a wide-ranging taste in music and their ability to realize collaborative projects with a mindful array of artists.
Brenda sisane spoke to Nocola Conte on The Art of Sunday.
‘People Need People’, cover illustrated by Mzwandile Buthelezi
For the most part recorded in Puglia, Italy, ‘People Need People’ is the result of a constantly evolving research and artistic exchange, that has been able to cross borders during its development.
Sonically conceived as a collective creative experience drawing on Nicola Conte & Gianluca Petrella’s early influences from soul, spiritual Afro-jazz, and research on modern electronic sounds, disco and hip-hop, the album’s 11 tracks feature a cosmopolitan ensemble of musicians including MC/poet Raashan Ahmad (USA), pianist & composer Nduduzo Makhathini (South Africa) among others.
In a time of civil unrest, unprecedented challenges, and social distancing, People Need Peopleis a call for values that are essential to our species, as well as to the world as a whole. It prompts the listener to imagine other ways of living while reminding them to experience joy in the present.