Noemi Nuti ‘Nice To Meet You’ (Ubuntu Music) 3/5

noemi-nutiThe Noemi Nuti Band is a new project founded by young and up-and-coming vocalist Noemi Nuti. Born in New York of Italian parents, Nuti now lives in London. Her background positively influences her music, not least given the fact that she sings in five languages, including English, Italian, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Not surprising then that “Nice to meet you”, her band’s debut release, is an album with many varied influences, from Brazilian roots and Latin American rhythms to the poetic lyricism of songwriters Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon. Such a heady mix can be a good or a bad thing, as this sometimes makes for an eclectic, varied and wonderful musical journey, but also has the potential to leave the listener feeling slightly disconnected, wondering if the artist is trying to cover too many bases in one session. One thing that is for certain, is that Nuti has an excellent band working with her, regardless of the style of material. Quentin Collins; trumpet and flugelhorn, Chris Eldrid; piano, Filipe Monteiro; guitar, Tim Thornton; bass and Enzo Zirilli; drums, put in a mature, flawless and inspiring performance, fully engaging with the material at hand. There is also a guest appearance on two tracks by pianist Andrew McCormack, with whom Nuti has spent time co-writing. Co-producer Quentin Collins shows his expertise in the studio and the resulting album rides on a wave of contemporary jazz structures and Brazilian melodic beauty. Nuti’s voice is illuminating, fearlessly alive and accomplished, with a wide range of tone and style. Generally speaking, her vocal talents work best on the Brazilian/Latin themed tracks where she sings in the native language. Paulinho da Viola’s classic “Danca da Solidao” is performed here with a natural, effortless spirit. “Dorice” by Dorival Caymmi positively shines with passion and pleasure. Whilst “Ragiada” showcases Nuti’s incredible vocal range, and the wonderful “Tidal Surge” manages to combine the band’s talents in a jazz-fuelled opus.

The Noemi Nuti Band are currently touring to promote the release of their album. Their launch gig is at Pizza Express, Soho, London on Wednesday night (25th March). They then move on to gigs at Marigolds, Harlow (27th March), Fisher Theatre, Bungay (28th March) and Jazz Co-Op, Newcastle (30th May). For more info on tour dates go to: www.noeminuti.com

You can also find our interview with Noemi here

Mike Gates