Quick and to the Point : Safe Latin jazz album that dips on several related musical genres.
Island Garden is the latest production from pianist Joseph Diamond where he continues his Latin jazz ventures after his debut as leader in Not Your Typical New Yorker. Diamond is a fine pianist with amicable and familiar compositional and arranging ideas, stemming from Diamond’s similar style of playing. He dwells mostly in radio friendly and danceable material rather than abstract jazz, which should endear this CD to various audiences that lend towards Latin material but find the most so-called progressive figures in that market too hard to handle or simply experience it as an unintelligible language.
The recording will not cheat anyone in terms of variety, or extension of the recorded material, as all 13 songs feel and are as extensive as they need to be. As far as Diamond’s playing is concerned, he is a competent pianist who has learned to meld his personal liking and experiences with Hispanic music and culture, as well as jazz and popular music forms, even incorporating quotes from other Latin jazz figures, in his original material. “That’s Not a Good Idea” is the best example in this recording of such “quoting.”
Some of the highlights are facilitated by the use of several veteran musicians from NY who, under the direction of Diamond, become facilitators of wide musical Spanish Caribbean and Hispanic angles that cover several grounds, giving the album multiple airs.
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.