Joseph Diamond - Island Garden
we talk about Salsa, we are approaching not only a genre of Afro
Carribean music but a lifestyle, a world of it's own. Salsa is music,
religion, dance, hot sauces and business. Last week I saw a tv-report
about Salsa in Cuba, where they have developed a new music style and
Salsa remains the music of elder artists, collected in albums like Buena
Vista Social Club. Nevertheless if one searchs "Salsa" over the net,
one will find hundreds of websites and if one tries the Latin American
search engines it might be thousands. So Salsa has conquered the
world. If you are interested in the roots of Salsa, I recommend you
the article of Max Salazar "Salsa
visits in Mexico, Brazil and Puerto Rico I recognized that these
countries have many discos with loud Latin American music disturbing
my night sleep and entertaining the local youth. Forget the sleep and
go dancing, it's the Latin American lifestyle. Only a few musicians
have connections to Smooth Jazz, blending Latin American Music with
Smooth Jazz or R & B. I mention for example Mike
Ianieri , The
Urban Jazz Coalition, Andy
Narell and The
Caribbean Jazz Project, Nestor
Montana Jr., Roberto
Ravel, Luis Salinas, Ed
Pera Renauld, Steve
Fuentes or Marc Antoine.
Diamond surely takes a special position under these artists.
He has already found my attention with his album "Not
Your Typical New Yorker". His second album "Island
Garden" will be released in June 2002 and is available as
pre-ordered copy over Joseph's website.
Joseph comments his new album positively: I think anyone who
bought my CD Not Your Typical New Yorker, will be very impressed with
Island Garden. I think the CD is a logical step forward from the first
CD. Not Your Typical New Yorker will always be a classic in my mind
but I think on this new CD I have managed to take it a step further
and I think every aspect of this project is better.
The first tune is Montoya
Mambo. Joseph comments: "This song was written
for my first playing engagement with the band in Wilmington, Delaware.
The name Montoya was given to me in Aruba and being that the song has
such a dance feel to it, I decided on Montoya Mambo." Compared
to his first album Joseph hasn't changed his style. His piano
play is sophisticated and vivid. One immediately remarks his great fun
to play Salsa. Joseph has developed Salsa to a musical real
treat and this song is his proof.
showcases a syncopated version of Salsa with a strong samba rhythm
blended with strings garniture. Joseph 's piano solo
fades away to the end, although I believe, the live version
will be much longer. Bruce Williamson's acompanying flute is
thrilling like a jumping bird. Joseph comments: An anthem
for the people of the world who say yes and give of themselves in
whatever they do in life.
Cowboy features anew Bruce Williamson with a brilliant
flute solo. Together with Johnny Almenda 's bongos and Pocholo
Segundo 's congas Joseph kindles a real musical firework.
is a very radiolike Smooth Jazz piece with a grooving rhythm.
Andricka Hall and Stephanie James add some smoothly
breathed "L.A.s". If you like modern hooking Smooth Jazz and
a perfect piano play, this is a superior model.
L.A. isn't the typical Joseph Diamond, we know. That's
Not A Good Idea is more of his original music. Starting uptempo
Joseph uses immediately the further opportunity for an
extensive furious piano solo. Vince Cherico shows his drumming
the contemplative midtempo Someday It Will Be OK
Joseph finds more silent tones. Anew his piano play increases
in eccentric lines.
Garden is a special track featuring Rob Thomas on
violin. This tune is melting elements of Latin and Fusion Jazz to an
epic film score.
Como Alegria surprises with a folkloric melody, which is
continued on the next tune El Stupido. A
very dance-oriented (Merengue) piece with the typical instrumentation.
Goes Another One has a strong Santana flavor, one knows
by Oye Como Va. Guido Gonzales presents a heartstirring
solo on Flugelhorn.
Yaqui is written and dedicated to Rudy Romero, who has
recently passed away. Rudy was a Yaqui Indian and this song is
in honor of his heritage and his infectious personality and playing
style. Joseph Diamond mixed it all again, Salsa and more.
You Gonna Say is a slowtempo Smooth Jazz tune with a intriguing
melody and drum-programmed pattern. Andricka Hall and Stephanie
James' awesome vocals adds some refrains. Joseph showcases
his mastership in all presented genres.
Atumn finalized the album with more contemplative and sustained
Ernie Rideout (Keyboard Magazine) remarks in the liner notes:
this album is challenging. It's not a dance album for one's entertainment, this album requests your constant attention through its
various styles and tempos. But this makes Joseph's work
outstanding and interesting.