Various Artists: Vintage Italia (Putumayo World Music)
Italy in the 1950s and ’60s conjures up a host of sunny La Dolce Vita impressions, most of them drawn from movies. Vintage Italia is meant to capitalize on postwar Italian nostalgia. Most of the 11 tracks were recorded during the period and vary between lushly orchestrated ballads and jazzier numbers. While jazz was certainly an inspiration on much of the music, the best moments in that vein are heard on the 1958 opening track by singer Fred Buscaglione, which boasts a hot trumpet solo worthy of Louis Armstrong. Curiously, the track that most conforms to expectations of Italian period pop, complete with accordion and mandolin, hales from a contemporary instrumental group, Quadro Nuevo.