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Not Your Typical New Yorker

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Album Review

The struggle for indie artists to prove themselves to the world at large is great, and this talented piano whiz doubles the difficulty by being a non-Latin trying to break into the wonderful world of Latin jazz. He bolsters his chances by working with Latin-blooded veterans of the genre, like drummer Vince Cherico (Ray Barretto, Paquito D'Rivera), bassist Leo Traversa (Tania Maria, Astrud Gilberto), and Emedin Rivera. Diamond (maybe he should change his name to José Diamante?) proves himself up to the task of taking the Latin audience by storm, simply by being a powerful, well-versed mainstream jazz and Latin player. "Que Rico!" rolls along with booming lower-register chord flourishes, then smooths out as a bebop duet with tenor saxman Drew Francis. Two minutes into the tune, Diamond turns it into a fiesta and Francis starts honking. The title track is all percussive heat from the beginning, with Diamond skipping over a playful percussion groove. Tunes like this and "Cuchifrito" offer a mix of moods, from a loping sense of optimism to more aggressive bursts of energy. "Un Hombre" is a strutting dedication to hometown hero Bernie Williams of the New York Yankees. While no doubt Diamond has the most fun on the party songs, he's also adept at romance ("Little Past Midnight"). Despite the clever album title, it's clear that Diamond is very much a New Yorker in that while born into one culture, he's influenced by the magnificence of another that's always been around him.

Not Your Typical New Yorker, Joseph Diamond
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  • €8.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Latino
  • Released: 20 June 2000

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