Release: February 24, 2023
Following her 2020 debut album “NoteSpeak (Amori e Tragedie In Musica)” which Downbeat Magazine dubbed one of the best records of the year, multidisciplinary storyteller Lisa Marie Simmons reunites with long-time collaborator Marco Cremaschini to present NoteSpeak’s sophomore album, ‘NoteSpeak 12’, set to release on February 24th on Ropeadope.
A published poet, essayist, and singer/songwriter, Lisa Marie Simmons brings together the rich experience of her life and multifaceted career to deliver a relaxed, personal, and deliberate articulation of her story.
A survivor of several troubled foster homes and adoptions, “her persistent desire to discover (and hold) joy in the face of suffering is a bright light in an often dark world” (Louis H Marks, Ropeadope Records).
Her lyrics, in substance and form (sonnets, free verse, rondeau prime and others) meditate upon the omni-prescence of the number 12 and its various worldly incarnations: In Islam, in Judeo-Christianity, in astrology, in physics, and its metaphysical representation of harmony, empathy, and unity.
Marco Cremaschini’s compositions seek to survey the distance between Western Classical and pan-African traditional music, using dodecaphonic (12-note scale) composition popularized by Schoenberg and Stockhausen and Afrobeat as case studies to represent each cultural outpost. Combining complex large-ensemble arrangements with freedom, improvisation and spontaneity, the music has a confident sense of space, breath, and contrast.
United by the concepts of unity and connection, ‘NoteSpeak 12’ is bold, engrossing and exciting. Following a path paved by artists such as Gil Scott-Heron and The Last Poets, it changes constantly between styles from straight-ahead jazz, to hip-hop, to gospel, to funk, to 20th century classical music, and yet seems to consistently groove.
Self-defined as a “multi-level jazz hybrid”, NoteSpeak 12 is more than just poetry set to music or the other way around. It’s a conversation between the two artforms, and an exploration of the human experience.
Lisa Marie Simmons | lead vocal, lyrics, composition
Marco Cremaschini | keyboards, arrangements, compositions
Marco Cocconi I electric & acoustic bass
Federico Negri I drums
Manuel Caliumi I alto sax
Laura Masotto I violin
Denise Dimè I vocals
Dionne Draper Ernest Ikwanga I guitars
Mauro Negri I tenor saxophone
Federico Pierantoni I trombone
Fulvio Sigurtà I trumpet, flugelhorn
Donata Greco I flute
Weedie Braimah I percussion
Maurizio Giannone I percussion
Can We Agree?
The Last Supper
I Gotta Hunch
I Think I Understand
Another Strings Pulled from the Theory
The Longest Night
The 12th Thing
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