Black Diamond


Black Diamond

This new recording from Back Diamond was recorded live during a five-week residency at The Whistler in 2018. The jaunty, offbeat “Tihai” opens the record with the two horns improvising together and gradually building intensity, egging each other on (the tune is named for a rhythmic sequence – three repetitions followed by a rest – featured in Indian classical music).

  • Artie Black – tenor saxophone/ bass clarinet
  • Hunter Diamond – tenor saxophone
  • Matt Ulery – bass
  • Neil Hemphill – drums

Black Diamond is centered on a special partnership between two tenor saxophonists, who often seem to think, feel, and even breathe as one. The quartet weaves a seamless musical fabric, sometimes serene and sometimes muscular, deepening and extending the jazz tradition with strains of folk and world music.

Artie Black and Hunter Diamond first connected at the renowned jazz program at Indiana University in Bloomington. Together they launched an intensive investigation of the work of Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh, the saxophonists associated with the iconoclastic Lennie Tristano. That light, dry sound, and the use of complex rhythmic variations to build intensity, inspired Black and Diamond to develop their own personal two-tenor conception.

Melodic lines intertwine magically in their compositions and improvisations, and the pairing is strengthened by a contrast between the two players: both on and off the horn, Artie tends toward introspection, playing and speaking with a patient thoughtfulness, and Hunter leans toward extroversion and risk-taking.

The collaboration was renewed a few years later when the two horn players reunited in Chicago. The city’s thriving free jazz and improvisational music scene broadened their musicalhorizons even further, and the ensemble gelled with the addition of bassist Matt Ulery and drummer Neil Hemphill, both sensitive and versatile players.

  • All music composed by Artie Black (BMI) and Hunter Diamond (BMI).
  • Recorded live at The Whistler on January 23rd and 30th, 2018.
  • Recorded and mixed by Dave Zuchowski
  • Additional mixing by Nick Broste
  • Mastered by Brian Schwab
  • Artwork and design by Marine Tempels