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words: maria orciuoli


Sixteen years after the release of “New Standards” (2001, SCEP336), 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 conceptions with a mindful array of artists. 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 Conte & Petrella’s early influences from soul, spiritual Afro-jazz, and research on modern electronic sounds, disco, and hip-hop, the album’s eleven tracks feature a cosmopolitan ensemble of musicians including MC/poet Raashan Ahmad (USA), pianist & composer Nduduzo Makhathini (South Africa), multi-instrumentalist & composer Magnus Lindgren (Sweden), singer & educator Débo Ray (USA), singer, vocalist & songwriter Bridgette Amofah (Ghana/England), percussionist Abdissa Assefa (Ethiopia/Finland), drummer & composer Teppo Mäkynen (Finland), vibraphonist Pasquale Mirra (Italy), percussionist & drummer Simone Padovani (Italy), and Italian rising stars such as singer & producer Davide Shorty, pianist & singer Carolina Bubbico, drummer & producer Tommaso Cappellato, pianist Seby Burgio, trumpeter Mirco Rubegni, and saxophonist Pasquale Calò.

In a time of civil unrest, unprecedented challenges, and social distancing, People Need People is 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. In People Need People, Conte & Petrella employ a musical language that layers their cumulative practices and music research experiences, encouraging the audience to elevate through sounds, rhythms, and vibrations, guided by the only truly universal language: Music.

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The Invisible Session players

Gianluca Petrella - Trombone, Effects, Keyboards, Piano Fender and Wurlitzer.
Joyce Elaine Yuille - Backing vocals
Riccardo Onori  - Guitar
Jukka ”Jukkis” Kiviniemi - Electric Bass
Abdissa “Mamba” Assefa - Drums and Percussion
Jalimansa Haruna Kuyateh - Kora
Mirco Rubegni - Trumpet
Giuseppe “Beppe” Scardino - Sax Baritone and Flute
Luciano Cantone - Vibraphone
Benjamin “Bentality” Paavilainen - vocal on “Hearing The Call” and “Mother Forgive Us”





Echoes Of Africa is produced by Luciano Cantone
All tracks written by Luciano Cantone and Gianluca Petrella except: “Entoto” written by Gianluca Petrella,

“Breathe The Rhythm” written by Gianluca Petrella and Riccardo Onori

“Hearing The Call” and “Mothger Forgive Us” music by Luciano Cantone, lyrics by Martin Thomas Paavilainen
Recorded in Milan at Blue Spirit / Edizioni Ishtar srl Studio in October 2019

Sound Engineer: Francesco Borrelli
Mixed by Marco Olivi
Mastering by Giovanni Versari at La Maestà Studio.



Release date:


February 26. 2021


Vinyl, CD & digital


Schema Records / Edizioni Ishtar

"People Need People" is available on


More info

La Repubblica

Billboard Italia

DJ Mag


Sentire Ascoltare


Sonic Soul

Rhythm Passport

All About Jazz - Interview with Nicola Conte

The Wicked Sound

All About Jazz - Review

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