Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

4

Diane Hubka: West Coast Strings

Geannine Reid By

Sign in to view read count
Diane Hubka: Diane Hubka: West Coast Strings 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 Marie Moss. She also studied piano, voice and guitar privately with premier NY jazz artists Barry Harris, Harold Danko, Connie Crothers, Sheila Jordan, Jay Clayton, Howard Alden and John Hart. A dynamic member of New York City's jazz scene for two decades, the award-winning vocalist relocated to Los Angeles in 2004.

Diane's newest CD, West Coast Strings (SSJ Records) features the singer with a far ranging program of music with eight West Coast master guitarists, plus soul-jazz veteran, Bobby Pierce guesting on Hammond B-3. Hubka also plays guitar on three tracks.

"Brigas Nunca Mais" finds Hubka singing this Jobim song in its native language with clear diction and a soft tone that allow the intricate guitar work of Peter Sprague to shine, while Hubka keeps the rhythm guitar work flowing underneath. Hubka's bass lines and chords are clear and flowing under Sprague's active solo; this particular song has no bassist, so the subltiles of Hubka and Sprague are in full view. Sprague's nylon-strung guitar lines are energetic and pushing the beat, but never rushing. He builds each line and develops clear motifs and allows the phrases to breath as he climbs the neck to a logical climax. Hubka's gentle swaying phrasing of the final statement of the melody is very much in tune with the heritage of this Jobim selection.

"Amanhacer" is penned by guitarist John Pisano and his wife Jeanne, his 'Guitar Night,' at various California venues has been going on for sixteen years now and features a different, outstanding guitarist each week with John's trio. Pisano's inclusion and contribution to West Coast Strings is fitting and in line with the overall energy and comrodiray of the entire project. The melody and lyrics are very enjoyable and fits right in with the surrounding standards. Hubka conveys the emotion behind the heartwarming lyrics and ensemble provides an easy bossa feel for her to sing on. Peter Sprague and John Pisano's guitar work are both featured in this selection. Sprague takes the first chorus with his usual confidence of developing a line, both in shape and time. Pisano's soft steel stings follows with a relaxed development of ideas, combined with his soft singing of each well placed note. Hubka takes the melody out leaving the listener feeling joyous and positive.

"It Ain't Necessarily So" is the serious toe tapper of the set with the thumpin' organ feel from Bobby Pierce and fine guitar work from Anthony Wilson. Everyone on this tune is pulling the blues out of this Gershwin classic and it is Hubka's vocal control and delivery on this selection, which is the highlight of the set. Wilson's warm guitar tone and control is strong and propels the selection with bop ornamented blues licks and bends. Pierce keeps his solo brief, but concise and swingin,' Kendall Kay's drums and Pierce's quarter note feel is in the pocket and makes good use of that triplet feel!


Track Listing: West Coast Blues; Moondance; Brigas Nunca Mais; Peace; Warming To Spring; It Ain’t Necessarily So; Amanhacer; Never Let Me Go; Moon Ray; They Say It’s Spring; Slow Hot Wind; A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing; Someone Else Is Steppin’ In.

Personnel: Diane Hubka: vocals, guitar (3, 8, 11); Anthony Wilson: guitar (1, 6, 13); Mimi Fox: guitar (2, 12); Peter Sprague: guitar (3, 7); Larry Koonse: guitar ( 4, 8); Barry Zweig guitar (5, 9); David Eastlee: guitar ( 5, 9); John Pisano: guitar ( 7, 10); Ron Eschete: guitar (10, 11) Bobby Pierce: Hammond B-3 (1, 6, 13); Jeff D’Angelo: bass ( 4, 5, 9, 13); John Leftwich: bass (7); Kendall Kay: drums (1,4, 5, 6, 9, 13); Enzo Tedesco: drums ( 3, 7).

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Rolling Stones: Blue and Lonesome Extended Analysis The Rolling Stones: Blue and Lonesome
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 27, 2016
Read Nat Birchall: Creation Extended Analysis Nat Birchall: Creation
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 23, 2016
Read Harvey Mandel: Snake Pit Extended Analysis Harvey Mandel: Snake Pit
by Doug Collette
Published: November 19, 2016
Read Leonard Cohen: You Want it Darker Extended Analysis Leonard Cohen: You Want it Darker
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 13, 2016
Read King Crimson: On (and Off) The Road Extended Analysis King Crimson: On (and Off) The Road
by John Kelman
Published: November 13, 2016
Read "Michel Benita Ethics: River Silver" Extended Analysis Michel Benita Ethics: River Silver
by John Kelman
Published: February 22, 2016
Read "The Traveling Wilburys Collection" Extended Analysis The Traveling Wilburys Collection
by Doug Collette
Published: September 4, 2016
Read "Holger Czukay: Movie!" Extended Analysis Holger Czukay: Movie!
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: May 14, 2016
Read "U.K.: Ultimate Collectors' Edition" Extended Analysis U.K.: Ultimate Collectors' Edition
by John Kelman
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "Vitor Pereira Quintet: New World" Extended Analysis Vitor Pereira Quintet: New World
by Phil Barnes
Published: March 29, 2016
Read "Ali Farka Toure with Ry Cooder: Talking Timbuktu" Extended Analysis Ali Farka Toure with Ry Cooder: Talking Timbuktu
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: May 22, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!