Album of the Week: NoteSpeak — Lisa Marie Simmons
Eastside’s album of the week this week is Lisa Marie Simmons’ NoteSpeak (Amori e Tragedie In Musica). Lisa Marie Simmons is a soul/folk/jazz singer out of Colorado who began her musical journey studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. She is part of two ensembles currently, Hippie Tendencies (neo-folk/soul) and NoteSpeak, the spoken word-jazz project that this album falls under. This NoteSpeak album features primarily blues and jazz, with gorgeous and impactful spoken word poetry over the top. From the more melodic, soulful sounds of Samia, to the bitingly funny and harsh poetry of Chip, the entire album is a testament to her prowess as a musician and a lyricist. She pays tribute to the longstanding Black history of both spoken word poetry and jazz, with a timely album on the sometimes ridiculous and sometimes terrifying reality of living while Black in America today. The album is beautiful in sound and message, and a fantastic example of what modern jazz can be.