Black Diamond thrives on the chemistry and compositions of saxophonists Artie Black and Hunter Diamond. They met while studying under David Baker and Tom Walsh at Indiana University. A mutual admiration for the collaborative recordings of saxophonists Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh led them to experiment with their own two-tenor palette, and it quickly became apparent that the variance in their tonal and stylistic approaches created a captivating sense of balance. This dynamic has allowed them the unique compositional opportunity to write for the group in a way that is both deeply personal and instrumentally uncommon.
August 2017 marked the release of Black Diamond's debut recording , "Mandala," on Shifting Paradigm Records. Featuring bassist Matt Ulery and drummer Neil Hemphill, the album contains nine original works by Black and Diamond. The title is inspired by the Vajrayana Buddhist practice of sand painting. The intent of a mandala is to form a representation of the enlightened mind through intricate patterning of layered grains of colored sand. The music on "Mandala" represents our grains laid; our mandala composed.
For more information including performances, digital content, and news, please make a visit to the Black Diamond wesbsite.
Strange Frontiers is both the title of this group and of my father's 2015 book of poems released by CeateSpace Independent Publishing Company. Eric Diamond is a clinical psychologist, musician, songwriter, poet, Jewish mystic, and a new age healer committed to reconstructing a a widespread social understanding of positive masculine identities.
Inspired by my father's writings, I set his poems to new and improvised music, allowing his wisdom and lively spirit to influence each performance, I recite and sing each poem, as well as provide percussive and instrumental textures with a variety of woodwinds including Berber and porcelain flutes, clarinet, saxophone, and various singing bowls and chimes.
With the support of the Luminarts Cultural Foundation's special artist grant program, Strange Frontiers will appear on record in 2019.
Chicago drummer/composer Lucas Gillan and I met during our time studying the the masterful drummer Dana Hall. Inspired by the fertile improvised music community in Chicago, and the power of the saxophone-drum set combination famously explored by John Coltrane & Rashied Ali/Elvin Jones/Roy Haynes, Fred Anderson & Hamid Drake, Charles Lloyd & Billy Higgins, Dewey Redman & Ed Blackwell, and Bill McHenry & Andrew Cyrille.
Spending time improvising together and composing for this instrumentation, we have now worked ourselves into a position where we feel ready to document our development, and our debut recording will be captured at Elastic Arts on Sunday, July 8th, 2018.
The Herbsaint Band is a traditional jazz quartet that features the music of New Orleans master musicians Sidney Bechet, Louis Armstrong, Johnny Dodds, and many more. This group came together specifically during the development of the "Got You Some" New Orleans party series, created by myself and chef Chris Reed. For this project, I exclusively play the clarinet with the aim of capturing the true sonic spirit of the crescent city at the turn of the 20th century.