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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Nice to Meet You

Ubuntu UBU0001



1. Infanzia

2. Echoes of Rio

3. Doralice

4. Vista

5. Charade

6. The Shell

7. The Hum

8. Tidal Surge

9. Dança da Solidão

10. Synaesthesia

11. Rugiada

Noemi Nuti - Vocals and percussion

Quentin Collins - Trumpet and flugelhorn

Filipe Monteiro - Guitar

Chris Eldred - Piano

Tim Thornton - Bass

Enzo Zirilli - Drums and percussion

Andrew McCormack - Piano (Tracks 4, 11)

Newcomer Noemi Nuti was born and brought up in New York City and came to live in London when she was eighteen. She studied composition at Trinity College of Music under some of the excellent teachers there - Pete Churchill, Nia Lynn, Simon Purcell to name but three. This is her debut album on the new Ubuntu Music label. Nuti has had the good sense to surround herself with some fine musicians including trumpeter Quentin Collins who has produced the album. Her musical influences include Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon, but, mainly, the music of Brazil. Nuti has a light, high, flexible voice, although she has a tendency to favour a `slightly-out-of-tune' style in the higher register.

There are seven originals by Nuti on the album. Guest pianist Andrew McCormack has contributed two others, Vista and Rugiada. The remaining tracks, Doralice and Dança da Solidão, are familiar tunes from the jazz samba repertoire.

I found some of Nuti's tunes and lyrics over-complex, especially Infanzia and The Hum, but Tidal Surge, co-written with Collins, has an arresting theme performed wordlessly by Nuti, in a duet with Collins on flugelhorn. Monteiro switches from Spanish to electric guitar very effectively on this track. Echoes of Rio is cheerfully redolent of warm breezes and sunny days. Like Doralice, listening to this is a relaxing, foot-tapping pleasure.

Rugiada is another wordless duet, this time with pianist McCormack. In contrast to the intense, overly dramatic Vista, it makes attractive use of intriguing polyrhythms.

On the sextet tracks, Eldred, Thornton and Zirilli provide excellent, unobtrusive support, but the outstanding contribution throughout is from Quentin Collins, a high-class trumpeter who appears to move seamlessly between the pop and jazz worlds.

Nuti is evidently a talented singer/composer but, to my ear, more enjoyable when she relaxes and keeps it simple.

George Stacy

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