Various Artists

Cafe Roma, Vol. 2

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Though this budget-priced two-disc compilation is billed as "an Italian jazz & lounge experience," you'd be hard-pressed to guess that it has anything to do with Italy based on the music itself, most of which sounds much more Brazilian or Cuban than anything else. A few tracks are actually sung in Italian and credited to Italian musicians, but since a bunch of others are sung in Portuguese, you have to really be paying attention to catch the linguistic switch. Still, what matters here isn't nationality; what matters is whether the music grooves, and that it does. Everything has a jazzy, swinging feel and just a faint whiff of European movie soundtracks from the 1960s, and even if regional favorites like Nicola Conte and Giacomo Bondi are unfamiliar names here in the States, no one with a pulse will be able to resist the hip-swaying charms of much of this program. Among the highlights are a fine adaption of the jazz standard "What a Difference a Day Makes," performed by Dynamic 4, and the invigorating (if misspelled) "Cosmic Odissey" by Spacestar. Things do occasionally get a bit soft in the middle, as on Vibraphile's enervatingly smooth "By Night," but for the most part this is stuff that will liven up any party. Recommended.

blue highlight denotes track pick