Sunday, October 7, 2012

Greg Diamond - Conduit

Dot Time Records - DT9011
Seamus Blake, tenor saxophone | Brian Hogans, alto saxophone | Mike Eckroth, piano | Edward Perez, bass | Henry Cole, drums | Mauricio Herrera, congas |

During the last edition of the Jazz Ahead club night in Bremen (Germany) I had the pleasure of seeing Greg Diamond, a young NYC based guitar player. This was for me one of the highlights of Jazz Ahead 2011 and I left the venue sure that we will be hearing a great deal about this talented guitarist in the years to come. Surprisingly enough Greg’s second CD “Conduit” landed on my desk for review a few weeks ago.  The CD features a number of heavy hitting players from the current NYC scene including Seamus Blake on tenor sax, Henry Cole on drums and Mike Eckroth on piano, all in all a very impressive lineup.

The CD features 8 of Greg’s compositions and shows Greg as not only a wonderful player but a very talented composer as well. Yvette opens the CD with a unison melody played by guitar and tenor leading into a strong solo’s from Seamus Blake and Greg. The contemplative “Inertia” follows, Mike Eckroth on piano sets the tone for a beautiful melody again played in unison by Greg and Alto saxophonist Brian Hogans. The track gradually develops into a slow montuno grove and sets the stage for an impressive solo’s from both Greg and Brian Hogans.

El Martillo is a 7/4 Latin jazz romp and displays this rhythm section at its best.  In contrast “El Pozo” provides a vehicle for Greg to demonstrate his affinity with Latin jazz, his playing on this track displays the utmost taste. Bassist Edward Perez shows great skill in “Turbulence” with a short but well crafted solo reminiscent of Scott LaFaro. My personal favorite is the beautiful ballad “Song for Jerry (Mi Viejo). This well crafted composition is full of surprises and features an impressive solo from Tenor player Seamus Blake.

Greg Diamond I consider to be one of the most exciting guitarists that I have heard in years. Although well established in his native New York City outside of the big apple he is largely unknown. With this release I am sure he will gain the attention of the international jazz world that he deserves.

Johan van Deeg

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