Island Garden

Island Garden

by Joseph Diamond
     
 

Simply stated, this disc is loaded with fun and captures the true essence of both traditional and smooth jazz in a Latin and Caribbean context. Because it's an indie release by an artist who the average fan of any of those genres has never heard of, it feels okay to borrow an old cliché from his last name. Discovering this marvelously inventive, melodically gifted,… See more details below

Overview

Simply stated, this disc is loaded with fun and captures the true essence of both traditional and smooth jazz in a Latin and Caribbean context. Because it's an indie release by an artist who the average fan of any of those genres has never heard of, it feels okay to borrow an old cliché from his last name. Discovering this marvelously inventive, melodically gifted, and improvisationally astute keyboardist/composer is like finding a diamond amidst lots of rocks that are much better hyped. The liner notes state that Diamond spent many years performing in the Caribbean, and the festive, frolicsome island spirit infuses his musical point of view. "Montoya Mambo" is typical of his inventive multi-movement approach. Blending with Adam Niewood's tenor and a choir of soothing, soaring voices creates a smooth effect, but the percussion is intense and the groove is up and funky -- perfect for rhythm and jazz until the jumpy Latin piano solo kicks in two minutes in and transforms the piece entirely. Diamond takes the same basic approach on "Anytime" -- easy as he blends with Bruce Williamson's flute in spots, then more aggressive, bouncy, and tropical in other sections. His playing is much like that of David Benoit, another master of all trades who switches easily between salsa/mambo intensity and the straightforward kick back smooth jazz. "L.A." is perfect for that format, while "That's Not a Good Idea" is back in the island-hopping mode. Diamond also has a sensitive side on occasion; on one of the few ballads, "Someday It Will Be Okay," he stirs up a blend of hope amidst the melancholy, duetting on most of the melody passages with the moody bass of Leo Traversa. All of this only offers the highlights -- there are 13 tracks in all, one more engaging than the next.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/24/2002
Label:
Basileus
UPC:
0682856000221
catalogNumber:
60002

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Joseph Diamond   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Piano
Bobby Allende   Bongos,Conga,Soloist
Andreu Johnny Almendra   Bongos,Shekere
Stephanie James   Vocals
Emedin Rivera   Percussion,Conga
Leo Traversa   Bass,Fretless Bass Guitar
Mark Walker   Percussion
Bruce Williamson   Flute
Vince Cherico   Drums
Marshall Sealy   French Horn
Steve Sandberg   Synthesizer
Guido Gonzalez   Flugelhorn
Andricka Hall   Vocals
Rob Thomas   Violin

Technical Credits

Leo Traversa   Song Research
Vince Cherico   Song Research
Manfred Knoop   Engineer
Ernie Rideout   Liner Notes
Joseph Diamond   Producer,Executive Producer,Mastering,Song Research
Glenn Grant   Graphic Design,Art Direction
Dean Bailin   Producer,Engineer

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