Nicola Conte Presents Viagem 3: Lost Gems of Bossa Nova and Samba Jazz
Balancing a mix of instrumentals and sung bossas expertly sequenced Viagem 3 is an almost classical take on Brazilian pop music
Travelling back to 1960’s Brazil the Viagem series takes its third voyage. Digging further still Brazilophile and Italian jazz don Nicola Conte has re-discovered eighteen choice rarities 1963 – 1970. As the global centre for all that was musically chic, these bossa nova and samba jazz hybrids blend the passion of South America and Africa with the sophisticated style of Europe and North America.
Often written to take bossa back to the people and in protest against the dictatorship that took hold in 1964 these long-neglected classics are expertly conjured together by Blue Note and Schema recording artist Conte. Poetic and wildly evocative the mix perfectly mirrors the creator’s laid-back cool and a swinging cosmopolitan Brazil.
Nicola Conte’s love and dedication to Brazilian music is astounding. Evident in his own soulful approach to his music Conte has brought to the fore a truly legendary era in jazz and Brazilian music that has until the Viagem series been long forgotten. The selection of so many undiscovered tunes is sure to reignite the flames for many who have been digging for these rarities since their initial popularisation.
“On Volume three I researched further to find tracks that are even more obscure. With a wider range to the earlier Viagem volumes – including tracks from the early 1960s though to 1970 – the music of ‘Viagem 3’ is deeper and uncovers many brilliant unknown artists who recorded EPs, but never full albums. There is of course beautiful bossa nova here with truly great arrangements, but this is not just a compilation of bossa.
For a more contemporary feeling I’ve tried to give a view on a different side of Brazilian music by incorporating darker Afro rhythms and very far out melodies and atmospheres currently so popular in the London and Tokyo scenes. This special taste is most impressive on the spiritual and haunting finale by Werther. There is a strong jazz feel to most of the tracks, which hint on the jazz club scene, some playing an important part in the Brazilian jazz story. The instrumentals from Bossa Trio, Wan Trio, Brasil 40 Graus have long been staples of my DJ set and some of my very favourite tracks from the record collection.
Dalmo Castello’s track ‘Fora de Hora’ impressed me most with Edu Lobo inspired strings and broken samba. Lobo’s mid-60s sound – influenced by the new bossa sound, elements of northeastern music and socially conscious lyrics – has a strong resonance with many of these recordings as protest songs deeply unpopular with the rising Brazilian military dictatorship. These are fine classics that define this time of great creativity and change. I truly believe that this period was the peak of Brazilian music.”
Nicola Conte, 2011