Paolo Conte – Una Faccia In Prestito (1995)

FrontCover1Paolo Conte (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpaːolo ˈkonte]; born 6 January 1937) is an Italian singer, pianist, composer, and lawyer notable for his grainy, resonant voice. His compositions are evocative of Italian and Mediterranean sounds, as well as of jazz music and South American atmospheres.

Paolo Conte was born in Asti, Piedmont. His parents were avid jazz fans and Conte and his younger brother Giorgio spent their formative years listening to a lot of early jazz and blues recordings. After obtaining a law degree at the University of Parma, Conte started working as an assistant solicitor with his father, simultaneously pursuing his musical studies. He learned to play the trombone, the vibraphone and the piano,[1] and formed a jazz band with his brother on guitar. Conte’s skill for composing music and original arrangements was noted by music producer Lilli Greco, who paired Conte with lyricist Vito Pallavicini. They wrote songs for Adriano Celentano (“Azzurro”, 1968), Caterina Caselli (“Insieme a te non ci sto più”, 1968), Fausto Leali (“Deborah”, 1968) and Enzo Jannacci (“Messico e nuvole”, 1970). In 1974 Conte recorded his first album, Paolo Conte. The following year, he released another eponymous album. Following a series of well-received shows at Club Tenco in Sanremo in 1976 and the commercial success of his third album, ‘Un gelato al limon’, Conte concentrated almost exclusively on his solo career.


Some of Conte’s most popular songs have been used as film soundtracks, including “Come Di” in I Am David (2003) and Mickey Blue Eyes (1999), “Via con me” in French Kiss (1995), Mostly Martha (2001) and Welcome to Collinwood (2002). In addition, Conte’s song “L’orchestrina” is featured during the end credits for episodes 3 and 4 of the television series The New Pope (2020). In 1997 Conte won the Nastro d’Argento for Best Score for the film La freccia azzurra.


On 24 March 1999, Paolo Conte was awarded with the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, by President Giorgio Napolitano for his “outstanding cultural achievements”. On 15 May 2001, France ordered Paolo Conte Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2015, Conte was awarded a Premio Galileo for contemporary music.

Has also received several honorary doctorates, including one from the University of Macerata (1990) (wikipedia)


Una Faccia in Prestito finds Paolo Conte approaching sixty, and much at ease in his hard-earned role of venerable, ultra cool, international cult figure. All of the elements that made Conte’s music and persona so unique are on display here, perhaps even in an ostentatious manner. Una Faccia in Prestito presents Conte at his most mannerist, as he nonchalantly revises or combines genres with astonishing musical facility. The aesthetic of pastiche, always important in Conte’s oeuvre, becomes the very essence of this album, both musically and lyrically. Indeed, in the same way that Conte amalgamates swing, bolero, paso doble, jig, milonga, or German music hall, his texts often become a hybrid of various European languages, including Italian, French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, and even his own native dialect of the Asti region.


Conte employs the same crew that accompanied him since the early 1990s (Jino Touche, Daniele Di Gregorio, Massimo Pitzianti), and the arrangements and performances are customarily faultless. Still, at 17 tracks in under one hour, (the longest single disc of Conte’s career), Una Faccia in Prestito can become a bit tiring in all of its flamboyance. “Danson Metropoli,” for instance, is a hilarious musical and verbal portrait of a modern capital’s chaotic living experience. But when a similar approach is employed for “Vita da Sosia,” it feels like one song too many. Nevertheless, it should also be said that the best moments, such as “Le Tue Parole per Me,” “Un Fachiro al Cinema,” or “Architetture Lontane” are nothing but new Conte standards. (by Mariano Prunes [-])


Claudio Chiara (saxophone)
Paolo Conte (vocals, piano)
Daniele Di Gregorio (drums, percussion, vibraphone)
Alberto Mandarini (trumpet)
Rudy Migliardi (trombone, tuba, euphonium)
Massimo Pitzianti (ccordion, bandoneon, clarinet, piano, saxophone)
Jino Touche (bass, guitar)
Luca Velotti (saxophone)
Simone Allione (oboe on 02., 06. + 07.)
Massimo Barbierato (violin on 07.+ 11.)
Michele Cagnetta (violin on 07. + 11.)
Roberto Caviglione (viola on 07. + 11.)
Marco Giani (nassoon on 08.)
Luciano Girardengo (cello on 11.)
Corno Inglese (oboe on 07.)
Leonardo Martina (synthesizer on 17.)
Alessio Menconi (guitar on 05.)
Lia Mellano (oboe on 05., 07.)
Daniele Dall’ Omo (guitar, ukulele on 04., 10., 16. + 17.)
Amelia Saracco (mandolin, mandola on 05., 11. + 13.)
Roberto Rossi (trombone on 13. + 15.)
Jino Touche (vocals on 08.)
Coro Elos (choir on 05., 15. + 16.)


01. Epoca 3.05
02. Elisir 2.22
03. Fritz 3.59
04. Un Fachiro Al Cinema 3.29
05. Teatro 4.43
06. Sijmadicandhapajiee 3.42
07. Le Tue Parole Per Me 3.48
08. Quadrille 2.47
09. Una Faccia In Prestito 3.20
10 Don’t Throw It In The W.C. 5.20
11. Danson Metropoli 4.09
12. Il Miglior Sorriso Della Mia Faccia 2.40
13 La Zarzamora 2.18
14. Vita Da Sosia 3.18
15. Cosa Sai Di Me? 2.55
16. Architetture Lontane 2.53
17 L’Incantatrice 7.36

Muic & lyrics: Paolo Conte



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