By j. poet | Published May 2020
Vocalist Lisa Marie Simmons was born in Colorado, studied music and drama in New York and traveled the world before finally settling down in Northern Italy. A serene r&b groove opens “Chillax,” introducing an album that blends poetry and jazz while speaking out against war, ignorance and racism. Marco Cremaschini’s rippling piano and the subtle, syncopated drumming of Valerio Abeni support Simmons as she urges listeners to relax, let go and let their minds fly off into the mystic. “Returning From Pluto” offers a vision of global unity as seen through the eyes of astronauts, reminding us that we all share this one small planet. Simmons intones a prayer for unity as the band slips into a lengthy Latin coda, featuring congas, muted trumpet and clarinet. Across NoteSpeak, the band’s playing remains understated, granting Simmons’ poetry the spotlight. Her words are full of internal rhymes, verbal inflections that move the rhythm in unexpected directions and juxtapositions of imagery that veer from predictable to wildly creative.
NoteSpeak (Amori E Tragedie In Musica): Chillax, Gnawing On That Bone, Samia, Returning From Pluto, Virtuoso, Decapitation Blues, Every Generation’s War, Reduction, Honey, Chip, Cozmic Confusion, Heavy, A Fazioli. (70:40)
Personnel: Lisa Marie Simmons, Machan Taylor, Miles Simmons, Lisa Bell, vocals; Marco Cremaschini, keyboards; Laura Masotto, violin; Fulvio Sigurtà, trumpet; Guido Bombardieri, alto saxophone, bass clarinet; Valerio Abeni, drums; Joy Grifoni, bass; Marco Cocconi, electric bass; Valeria Bonazzoli, Maurizio Giannone, Marco Mondini, percussion.