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Diane Hubka: West Coast Strings

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This Blue Ridge Mountain-bred artist grew up in Western Maryland in a musical family and learned violin, trombone and guitar from an early age. After college Diane Hubka moved to Washington, DC where she frequented local jazz clubs Blues Alley, One Step Down and Mr. Y's Soul Kitchen, absorbing the sounds of local legends Charlie Byrd and Shirley Horn, hearing national acts, as well as honing her own skills in those rooms. In 1986 she moved to New York City and was awarded a one-year jazz fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for private study with vocalist Anne ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Diane Hubka: I Like It Here/Live in Tokyo

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Cool-toned vocalist Diane Hubka first caught the attention of jazz journalists with her 1999 debut CD Haven't We Met?(Challenge-A) and she has continued to prove herself as an inventive, gifted interpreter of a wide range of material on her subsequent releases. Since leaving New York City for Southern California in 2004, she has played and recorded with a variety of top West Coast musicians. Hubka faced two challenges for I Like It Here/Live in Tokyo. After being invited to tour Japan by the Sinatra Society of Japan, which asked her to perform songs associated with the legendary ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Diane Hubka: I Like It Here: Diane Hubka Live in Tokyo

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Diane Hubka has made a reputation for being a straight-ahead, no-nonsense jazz singer and guitarist. Her previous recordings--Goes to the Movies (2008, 18th & Vine), You Inspire Me (2002, VSOJAZ), Look No Further (2000, Naxos)--all reveal a keen jazz talent with a conservative singing approach and swinging guitar sensibility.

Hubka solidifies her hold on mainstream jazz vocals with an excellent live set recorded in Tokyo, December 5, 2007. Hubka is supported by the superb trio of pianist Kiyoshi Morita, bassist Masahiko Taniguchi, and drummer Nobuhiko Yamashita in a bare-bones set of standards, heavy on the Jobim.

Hubka's vocal style is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Diane Hubka: Diane Hubka Goes to the Movies

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Hubka, Hubka...

The marketplace is clotted with exceptional recordings by female jazz vocalists/instrumentalists, the vast majority complimenting their voices with a certain piano talent. Diane Hubka is one of the few, if not the only, female vocalist who also plays guitar. She has enjoyed considerable exposure with recordings like, Haven't We Met (A-Records, 1998), Look No Further (Naxos, 2000), and You Inspire Me (VSOJAZZ, 2002). Diane Hubka Goes to the Movies is her first release since You Inspire Me, during which time she has taught, performed and worked in jazz promotion. With this release, Hubka roars back on the scene ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Diane Hubka: You Inspire Me

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Listening to Diane Hubka is a delight. Somehow it is appropriate and nice that Diane Hubka sounds just the way she looks, namely, cool, understated and very pretty. But there is much more to singing than a lovely voice and Hubka can do it all. She is a master of time and she can employ melody modification with the best jazz singers. She can also scat convincingly, but it is her burnished sound that captures the listener; it is a sound you want to reach out and touch.

You Inspire Me, Hubka's third album, is the kind of recording where ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Diane Hubka: You Inspire Me

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Working with a rotating set of musicians seems to be in vogue in recent years. Ray Brown has his Some of My Best Friends Are...series, Pat Martino a couple of years back did a disc with several visiting guitar compatriots. Even Frank Sinatra toward the end of his career cut albums which featured a number of different singers. Now comes songbird Diane Hubka, with an album which has her working with what are billed as “seven of the world's greatest guitarists". A minor exaggeration, perhaps, but they're all good. But more than the guitar players what makes this session is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Diane Hubka: Look No Further

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Skylark. Sweet-toned with considerable scat chops, Diane Hubka turns out and assertive collection of standards and vocalese on Look No Further. Ms. Hubka and friends swing with a gentle confidence, always maintaining a forward momentum. Ms. Hubka's voice requires no make-up. Her tone and approach are crystalline and precise. When she scats (as she does on the title track), it is without excess and grandiosity. She makes it look (sound) easy.

Hubka's band includes the fine pianist Frank Kimbrough, who along with guitarist John Hart, provide the harmonic propulsion. Interestingly, the only brass in this merry group is the trombone ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Diane Hubka: Look No Further

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This is Washington, D.C. based Diane Hubka's second album for A-Records, a subsidiary of The Netherlands label, Challenge Records. Like her first, she stays avoids standard material. Instead the play list is dominated by what most would call “off-beat" songs. Whatever, these tunes do not receive much recording attention even though many are the product by well know writers like Richard Rodgers, Jule Styne and Herbie Hancock.Filling a CD with this kind of material can be a risky endeavor; a vocalist must have great confidence in her ability to pull it off. Hubka obviously met that bill since ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Diane Hubka: Haven't We Met?

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New York vocalist Diane Hubka makes an impressive debut with this new release on the Dutch A-Records label. Hubka is an intelligent, self-assured singer with a light, gentle, (dare I say) sweet voice that strongly recalls the great Helen Merrill. She delivers a quiet, unhurried set of jazz for grown-ups here--mostly ballads and standards with some blues and bossa nova mixed in.

Hubka is joined by some pretty heavy and sympathetic company including Harvie Swartz on bass, John Hart on guitar, Frank Kimbrough on piano, and Ron Vincent on drums. Alto sax legend Lee Konitz sits in on three cuts, ...



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