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by Samuel Stroup
It's easy to see how Chicago quartet Black Diamond fit right into the sax / sax / bass / drums tradition in jazz. In fact, with the intricate and energetic compositions, speedy and flawless solos, and evocative song titles this group's first album Mandala almost feels like a passing of the torch from the likes of similarly instrumented quartets like Endangered Blood and Chris Lightcap's Bigmouth. Even Dave Holland's Conference of the Birds comes to mind on occasion throughout Mandala, ...read more
by Glenn Astarita
This Chicago-based quartet projects a raw and vibrant soundstage, nicely balanced with breakneck speed unison lines and introspective dialogues, topped off by tenor saxophonists Artie Black and Hunter Diamond's hearty choruses. They dig deep, yet on burners like the swiftly executed bop piece Rudy's Mood," they dish out briskly executed unison lines, leading to hyper-mode frameworks, shrewdly contrasted by a sense of openness. Hence, the band doesn't clutter things up with tireless soloing escapades. Basically, the saxophonists effectively pick their ...read more