“…’Keep Your Dreams,’ another great new release by late, great pianist, Joseph Diamond…real good stuff…We’re going to miss you, Joseph… recorded music leaves a legacy that goes on and on…your music will be around forever…”
Andy Harlow, La Musica Brava and Fusion Latina, 88.9 fm Serious Jazz, January 2009
“Keep Your Dreams” exemplifies the raw talent Joseph Diamond possessed and should be an inspirational classic for all those who believe that dreams and hopes can never be reached. This CD is smooth Latin Jazz at its best and a stamp that Joseph Diamond will always remain with us!”
Nelson Rodriguez, Latin Beat Magazine & Host – KXLU & KCLU, January, 2009
Listen to a few samples…
Keep Your Dreams
Prayer For Carla
Fifteen years after settling in to pursue his musical dreams in The Big Apple, Joseph Diamond still identifies with the trademark claim that inspired the title of his critically acclaimed 2000 debut album Not Your Typical New Yorker.
Don’t get him wrong–the multi-faceted pianist, composer and producer loves the energy and vibrancy of the city, but he’s a friendly, openhearted cat with no walls around him in a world where everyone seems like a very guarded, hard nut to crack. Personality differences aside, however, Manhattan’s proven a powerful influence on Joseph’s music as he’s negotiated the tightrope of establishing himself as an independent jazz artist.
The eclectic, highly melodic and rhythmic style that has won over the hearts of thousands of fans these past years is heavily influenced by all that incredible, jumpin’ and joyful Latin jazz and salsa music he hears around town, in addition to R&B, traditional “straightahead” and smooth jazz. They loved 2002’s tropical flavored Island Garden—which was also inspired by Joseph’s many travels to the Caribbean and Latin America—as much as the first, and they’ve been eagerly clamoring for his long awaited latest batch of excitement, Keep Your Dreams.
Building upon the musical vibes and momentum of the first two projects, Keep Your Dreamsis a much-needed shout of “never give up, never give in” encouragement to people struggling towards their goals, musical and otherwise. The 12-track collection incorporates many unique moods and textures, capturing the ongoing energy and intensity of the artist at his creative peak. Working once again with his longtime rhythm section of bassist Leo Traversa (Tania Maria, Astrud Gilberto) and drummer Vince Cherico (Ray Barretto, Paquito D’Rivera) and top NYC musicians Bruce Williamson (alto and soprano sax), Diego Lopez (congas, bongo, guiro), Mala Waldron (vocals), Cecilia Tenconi (flute, alto flute), Kenny Rampton (flugelhorn) and Nancy Assis and Gilad (percussion), Diamond takes a listener on fascinating journey that winks back at where he’s been while boldly taking steps towards the limitless future of contemporary jazz. The basic rhythm section tracks were recorded live at Knoop Studios while the later overdubs were done at NYC’s Clinton Studios.
Keep Your Dreams includes three tracks that echo back to popular songs on Joseph’s first two projects: the sizzling, percussive, sax and keyboard driven opener “Montoya Mambo II” (a variation on Island Garden’s “Montoya Mambo”); the highly danceable Latin piano and flute romp “Not Your Typical New Yorker II” (which draws inspiration from the original “Not Your Typical New Yorker”); and the sensual Latin soul number “There Goes One More” (a twist on the vibe of “There Goes Another One” from Island Garden). Other highlights are “Shady Maiden,” composed as a tribute to Herbie Hancock, one of Joseph’s piano heroes (maybe he’ll get to McCoy Tyner, Joe Sample, and Oscar Peterson next time!); the ethereal, introspective “Think About It”; and a balmy and romantic take on The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night era classic that Joseph titles “Just To Dance With You.” Joseph puts his usual optimistic and romantic spirit aside for one of Keep Your Dreams’ most compelling tracks, the soundscape heavy avant-garde piece “Iwreck,” which reflects his feelings about the Iraq war.
Beyond showcasing Joseph’s ability to get the listener’s toes tapping, voice humming, heart soaring and mind thinking, Keep Your Dreams is a true celebration of independent music making in the 2000s. The songs are melodically accessible, but stretch out as far as his bright imagination allows, and he taps into a range of emotions that most jazz artists would love to if only they weren’t held captive to market forces. Being an indie artist isn’t an easy road but he has made it a joy for all of us by following his heart and listening to it as it tells him: Keep Your Dreams. Jonathan Widran
Joseph died suddenly and unexpectedly on August 28, 2008. He was putting the finishing touches on this album. A few weeks before Joseph’s death, he played Requiem for his brother Jay and nephew, Jesse. They both requested that this track be included on Keep Your Dreams. At the time, no one knew how prophetic this would be. This introspective ballad reminds us that Keep Your Dreams completes a trilogy of Joseph’s recorded performances. Keep listening to the rest of these lively, upbeat compositions to quickly realize that while Joseph is gone, he lives through his music and will always be with us.