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Diamond Cut

Tia Fuller

Diamond Cut

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Mack Avenue
UPC: 0673203112728
Catnr: MAC 1127
Release date: 25 May 2018
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Label
Mack Avenue
UPC
0673203112728
Catalogue number
MAC 1127
Release date
25 May 2018
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN

About the album

‘This album is a dream come true! I am so grateful for many people in my life who continue to inspire me in the relentless pursuit of excellence and the creation of this crystalized vision. I stand on the shoulders of so many great people who have come before me. I fight to stay humble and principled throughout this life journey. My work was created to further etch in stone our people’s greatness. We are the “Diamond Cut.”’ – Tia Fuller

Artist(s)

Tia Fuller (saxophone)

Saxophonist, composer and bandleader Tia Fuller uses the process of diamonds forming under four levels of extreme pressure and heat as a metaphor for the time she spent honing her artistic craft. When looking up the term ‘diamond cut,’ you’ll learn that it was not necessarily pertaining to the shape but to the proportioning and the balance as to which the highest amount of light is reflected through the diamond. The process serves as a direct correlation to her teaching and playing.  While the phrase “diamond in the rough” often describes burgeoning talents brimming with potential, Fuller has exhibited impending greatness since emerging on the international jazz scene more than a decade ago. Now, her artistic capacity has blossomed tremendously, resulting...
more

Saxophonist, composer and bandleader Tia Fuller uses the process of diamonds forming under four levels of extreme pressure and heat as a metaphor for the time she spent honing her artistic craft. When looking up the term ‘diamond cut,’ you’ll learn that it was not necessarily pertaining to the shape but to the proportioning and the balance as to which the highest amount of light is reflected through the diamond. The process serves as a direct correlation to her teaching and playing.

While the phrase “diamond in the rough” often describes burgeoning talents brimming with potential, Fuller has exhibited impending greatness since emerging on the international jazz scene more than a decade ago. Now, her artistic capacity has blossomed tremendously, resulting in her fourth Mack Avenue Records release – the aptly titled Diamond Cut, her first album as leader since 2012’s Angelic Warrior. In those six years, she’s transitioned from being a member of Beyoncé’s touring band to becoming a full-time professor at Berklee College of Music, while still juggling a demanding career as a solo artist and touring with the likes of drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, bassist Esperanza Spalding and drummer Ralph Peterson Jr., among others.

“Not that I’ve arrived by any means, but I think I’m in a space of empowerment, knowing that I’m walking in my purpose,” says Fuller as she reflects on her multifaceted career. “I’m in the fullness of my purpose. Now, I’m more able to directly reflect the light toward others because of what other people have poured and reflected into me. I feel that I’m in a solid place to give back things of substance.”

Produced by GRAMMY®-Award winner Terri Lyne Carrington, the album finds Fuller leading two superb rhythm sections, both of which contain some of jazz’s brightest luminaries – bassist Dave Holland and drummer Jack DeJohnette, then bassist James Genus and drummer Bill Stewart. Adding texture and harmonic support of several compositions are guitarist Adam Rogers and organist Sam Yahel.

While touring together in 2014, Carrington encouraged Fuller to recruit some more seasoned musicians for her forthcoming disc. “Terri said, ‘I really would like for you to see you house yourself amongst the greats on the next album so that you can really hone in on playing jazz. You’ve done it with your peers. But I would like to see you with some elders,’” Fuller recalls. The net result is a sparkling, cohesive album that optimizes her iridescent tone and supple, sometimes rhythmically aggressive, improvisations through an enticing program of mostly originals firmly rooted in the language of 21st century modern post-bop.

The actual day of recording Diamond Cut marked the first time Fuller worked with both DeJohnette and Holland. “Seeing them arrive at the studio and set up, I was definitely nervous,” Fuller says. “But as soon as we started playing, it was all about the music. One thing that I appreciated from both of them was that they approached the music in a very humble way and really honored it.”

Indeed, Fuller sparks an electrifying rapport with DeJohnette and Holland on the pneumatic waltz “Queen Intuition,” on which Rogers and Yahel provide subtle harmonic cushioning, and the capricious “Joe’n Around,” on which Fuller unravels various improvised, melodic fragments associated by three of her saxophone mentors – Joe Lovano, Joe Henderson and Joe Jennings. They’re also featured on the episodic “The Coming,” of which Fuller uses Clark Atlanta University professor Daniel Black’s The Coming: A Novel as inspiration in the retelling of the Middle Passage that brought captured African slaves to the Americas; a prancing reading of Mal Waldron’s signature composition, “Soul Eyes,” on which she tips her hat to John Coltrane; and the soothing “Delight,” which takes its inspiration from the Christian Biblical scripture, Psalms 37:4 – “Delight in the Lord/And he will give you the desires of the heart.”

The album also marks the first time Fuller has recorded with Genus and Stewart. And again, she strikes a winning accord, indicative of the album’s searing opening piece, “In The Trenches,” on which she rides a turbulent momentum steered by Stewart’s jagged rhythms and Genus’ hefty, propulsive bass lines. “That was the first song that I wrote for the album, while I was literally in the trenches of transitioning and balancing my work schedule and dealing with personal family challenges,” Fuller explains. “I literally felt like I could not move. I remember being in my office feeling like I was all the way in the trenches, trying to dig myself out.”

From there, Fuller along with Genus and Stewart render “Save Your Love For Me,” the first of only three jazz standards on Diamond Cut. The soulful makeover – arranged by vibraphonist, drummer and fellow Mack Avenue Records artist Warren Wolf – allows Fuller to pay homage to yet another significant lodestar, Cannonball Adderley. Also powered by the Genus-and-Stewart rhythm team, Fuller delivers the majestic ballad “Crowns Of Grey,” which honors her parents, Fred and Elthopia Fuller, both of whom encouraged her formative musical growth while living in Aurora, Colorado.

Fuller praises Carrington for her production ingenuity, which helped guide Diamond Cut from its early conception to completion. “Terri really pays attention to minutia while being able to see the big picture,” Fuller says. “And she can enhance the big picture by having an endless arsenal of ideas for sounds and song structures. Even while I was writing the tunes, she was on the front lines saying, ‘Tia, you want each and every song to be the best song that you’ve ever written.’ She was always strongly encouraging me to not just lapse into what I’ve done before. She really helped shape the finer points of the compositions, then as the producer she put her magic touch on it.”

This newest outing illustrates that Fuller continues to etch away at her inner diamond as a saxophonist, composer, bandleader and educator. History will surely reveal Diamond Cut to be a landmark chapter in her artistic journey.


less

Jack DeJohnette (drums)

In a career that spans five decades and includes collaborations with some of the most iconic figures in modern jazz, NEA and Grammy winner Jack DeJohnette (1942) has established an unchallenged reputation as one of the greatest drummers in the history of the genre. The list of creative associations throughout his career is lengthy and diverse: John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Stan Getz, Keith Jarrett, Chet Baker, George Benson, Stanley Turrentine, Herbie Hancock, Dave Holland, Joe Henderson, Freddy Hubbard, Betty Carter and so many more. Along the way, he has developed a versatility that allows room for hard bop, R&B, world music, avant-garde, and just about every other style to emerge in the...
more

In a career that spans five decades and includes collaborations with some of the most iconic figures in modern jazz, NEA and Grammy winner Jack DeJohnette (1942) has established an unchallenged reputation as one of the greatest drummers in the history of the genre. The list of creative associations throughout his career is lengthy and diverse: John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Stan Getz, Keith Jarrett, Chet Baker, George Benson, Stanley Turrentine, Herbie Hancock, Dave Holland, Joe Henderson, Freddy Hubbard, Betty Carter and so many more. Along the way, he has developed a versatility that allows room for hard bop, R&B, world music, avant-garde, and just about every other style to emerge in the past half-century.

Born in Chicago in 1942, DeJohnette grew up in a family where music and music appreciation was a high priority. Beginning at age four, he studied classical piano privately and later at the Chicago Conservatory of Music. He added the drums to his repertoire when he joined his high school concert band at age 14.

“As a child, I listened to all kinds of music and I never put them into categories,” he recalls. “I had formal lessons on piano and listened to opera, country and western music, rhythm and blues, swing, jazz, whatever. To me, it was all music and all great. I‟ve kept that integrated feeling about music, all types of music, and just carried it with me. I‟ve maintained that belief and feeling in spite of the ongoing trend to try and compartmentalize people and music.”

By the mid-1960s, DeJohnette had entered the Chicago jazz scene – not just as a leader of his own fledgling groups but also as a sideman on both piano and drums. He experimented with rhythm, melody and harmony as part of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians during the group‟s early days, and later drummed alongside Rashied Ali in the John Coltrane Quintet. He garnered international recognition during his tenure with the Charles Lloyd Quartet, one of the first jazz groups to receive crossover attention.

In 1968, DeJohnette joined Miles Davis‟s group just prior to the recording of Bitches Brew, an album that triggered a seismic shift in jazz and permanently changed the direction of the music. Miles later wrote in his autobiography: “Jack DeJohnette gave me a deep groove that I just loved to play over.” DeJohnette stayed with Davis for three years, making important contributions to prominent Davis recordings like Live-Evil and A Tribute to Jack Johnson(both in 1971) and On the Corner (1972).

During this same period, DeJohnette also recorded his first albums as a leader, beginning with The DeJohnette Complex in 1968 on Milestone. He followed up with Have You Heard in 1970, then switched to Prestige, where he released Sorcery in 1974 and Cosmic Chicken in 1975.

The mid 1970s were marked by a series of short-lived groups and projects – many of them leaning toward the experimental side of jazz, including The Gateway Trio (featuring Dave Holland and John Abercrombie), Directions (with Abercrombie and saxophonist Alex Foster), and New Directions (Abercrombie, with Eddie Gomez on bass). Special Edition – which helped launch the careers of little known musicians like David Murray, Arthur Blythe, Chico Freeman, John Purcell and Rufus Reid – remained active into the 1990s, although the project was frequently interrupted by DeJohnette‟s various other collaborative ventures, especially recordings and tours with Keith Jarrett.

DeJohnette has worked extensively with Jarrett as part of a longstanding trio with Gary Peacock. The threesome will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2013.

Another of DeJohnette‟s high-profile projects in the early 1990s was a touring quartet consisting of himself, Holland, Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny. In 1992, the group released Music for a Fifth World, an album inspired by Native American culture that also included appearances by Vernon Reid and John Scofield. Given the diversity of players and styles that he had embraced by this point, DeJohnette was already describing his music in the „90s as “multidimensional.”

In 2004, DeJohnette recorded and toured with two Grammy nominated projects – Out of Towners,

with Jarrett and Peacock (aka the Standards Trio); and Ivey Divey, which featured Don Byron and Jason Moran. He continued to work with Jarrett and Peacock in 2005, but also launched numerous additional ventures that same year, the first of which was the Latin Project – a combo that consisted of percussionists Giovanni Hidalgo and Luisito Quintero, reedman Don Byron, pianist Edsel Gomez, and bassist Jerome Harris. Other projects in 2005 included The Jack DeJohnette Quartet, featuring Danilo Perez, John Patitucci and Harris; and the Beyond Trio, a group that celebrated the music of drummer Tony Williams, featuring John Scofield and Larry Goldings.

And if that weren‟t enough to make for a busy year, 2005 also marked the launch of DeJohnette‟s own imprint, Golden Beams Productions. His first two projects on the new label were Music from the Hearts of the Masters, a duet recording with Gambian kora player Foday Musa Suso, and a relaxation and meditation album entitled Music in the Key of Om, featuring DeJohnette on synthesizer and resonating bells. The latter recording was nominated for a Grammy in the Best New Age Album category. He closed 2005 with the release of Hybrids, a seamless weave of African jazz, reggae and dance music that featured Foday Musa Suso and an international cast representing musical styles from around the world.

Two live recordings emerged in 2006: The Elephant Sleeps But Still Remembers (Golden Beams), which captured his first musical encounter with guitarist Bill Frisell at the Earshot Festival in Seattle in 2001; and Saudades (ECM), a 2004 London concert celebrating the music of Tony Williams. DeJohnette and Frisell reunited in the fall of 2006 – along with multi- instrumentalist Jerome Harris and mix master Ben Surman – for a tour to promote The Elephant Sleeps.

DeJohnette continued to explore African music in 2007 via the Intercontinental project, a partnership with South African singer Sibongile Khumalo that included a successful European tour and culminated in a

performance at the Capetown Jazz Festival in South Africa. Other projects in 2007 included studio gigs and tour dates with Bruce Hornsby, Christian McBride, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Ron Carter. DeJohnette also appeared on Michael Brecker‟s posthumously released final album,Pilgrimage.

Extensive touring continued in 2008, along with the recording of a trio album with Patitucci and Perez during a snow storm near DeJohnette‟s home in upstate New York. The sessions resulted in Music We Are, released in April 2009 with a bonus DVD that provided a rare look at the trio‟s friendship, their creative relationship and their approach to the recording process.

DeJohnette‟s Peace Time won a Grammy in 2009 for Best New Age Album. The album consists of an hour-long, continuous piece of music that eMusic described as “flights of flute, soft hand drumming, and the gently percolating chime of cymbal play, moving the piece along a river of meditative delight.” But the 2009 Grammy is just one many awards that DeJohnette has received over the years, beginning in 1979 with the French Grand Prix Disc and Charles Cros awards. He has figured prominently into readers polls and critics polls conducted by Downbeat andJazzTimes over the past two decades. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of music from Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1991, and was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society‟s Hall of Fame in 2010.

In 2011, he was chosen to perform at the Kennedy Center in tribute to his longtime friend and musical inspiration, Sonny Rollins. Marking his 70s birthday in 2012, he received a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Fellowship – the highest U.S. honor for jazz musicians – in recognition of his extraordinary life achievements, contributions to advancing the jazz art form, and for serving as a mentor for a new generation of aspiring young jazz

musicians. The year-long birthday celebration included performances at the Monterey and Newport Jazz festivals, a tour of Europe with The Jack DeJohnette Group (a quintet he formed in 2010) and several concerts with Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke.

Despite all the awards and accolades, though, DeJohnette continues to make the creative process his highest priority. To that end, his most recent recording is Sound Travels, a nine-song, genre-spanning album that includes Latin rhythms and West Indian energy, meditative pieces and straightahead jazz. Included in the long list of guest players is Esperanza Spalding, Bobby McFerrin, Bruce Hornsby and Jason Moran.


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Bill Stewart (drums)

Adam Rogers (guitar)

Dave Holland (double bass)

As well as being a mighty bassist, Dave Holland has long been a wise band leader, filling his groups with players of differing background and experience and drawing on their collected knowledge and energies. Holland recognised the individuality of Steve Coleman’s skills as soloist and composer early on and featured him in the quintet alongside veterans Kenny Wheeler and Julian Priester, who also brought in material - as did the leader, whose tune “Homecoming” is among the highlights. Between them, this team could reference the whole history of modern jazz.
more
As well as being a mighty bassist, Dave Holland has long been a wise band leader, filling his groups with players of differing background and experience and drawing on their collected knowledge and energies. Holland recognised the individuality of Steve Coleman’s skills as soloist and composer early on and featured him in the quintet alongside veterans Kenny Wheeler and Julian Priester, who also brought in material - as did the leader, whose tune “Homecoming” is among the highlights. Between them, this team could reference the whole history of modern jazz.

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Sam Yahel (organ)

James Genus (double bass)

Composer(s)

Tia Fuller

Saxophonist, composer and bandleader Tia Fuller uses the process of diamonds forming under four levels of extreme pressure and heat as a metaphor for the time she spent honing her artistic craft. When looking up the term ‘diamond cut,’ you’ll learn that it was not necessarily pertaining to the shape but to the proportioning and the balance as to which the highest amount of light is reflected through the diamond. The process serves as a direct correlation to her teaching and playing.  While the phrase “diamond in the rough” often describes burgeoning talents brimming with potential, Fuller has exhibited impending greatness since emerging on the international jazz scene more than a decade ago. Now, her artistic capacity has blossomed tremendously, resulting...
more

Saxophonist, composer and bandleader Tia Fuller uses the process of diamonds forming under four levels of extreme pressure and heat as a metaphor for the time she spent honing her artistic craft. When looking up the term ‘diamond cut,’ you’ll learn that it was not necessarily pertaining to the shape but to the proportioning and the balance as to which the highest amount of light is reflected through the diamond. The process serves as a direct correlation to her teaching and playing.

While the phrase “diamond in the rough” often describes burgeoning talents brimming with potential, Fuller has exhibited impending greatness since emerging on the international jazz scene more than a decade ago. Now, her artistic capacity has blossomed tremendously, resulting in her fourth Mack Avenue Records release – the aptly titled Diamond Cut, her first album as leader since 2012’s Angelic Warrior. In those six years, she’s transitioned from being a member of Beyoncé’s touring band to becoming a full-time professor at Berklee College of Music, while still juggling a demanding career as a solo artist and touring with the likes of drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, bassist Esperanza Spalding and drummer Ralph Peterson Jr., among others.

“Not that I’ve arrived by any means, but I think I’m in a space of empowerment, knowing that I’m walking in my purpose,” says Fuller as she reflects on her multifaceted career. “I’m in the fullness of my purpose. Now, I’m more able to directly reflect the light toward others because of what other people have poured and reflected into me. I feel that I’m in a solid place to give back things of substance.”

Produced by GRAMMY®-Award winner Terri Lyne Carrington, the album finds Fuller leading two superb rhythm sections, both of which contain some of jazz’s brightest luminaries – bassist Dave Holland and drummer Jack DeJohnette, then bassist James Genus and drummer Bill Stewart. Adding texture and harmonic support of several compositions are guitarist Adam Rogers and organist Sam Yahel.

While touring together in 2014, Carrington encouraged Fuller to recruit some more seasoned musicians for her forthcoming disc. “Terri said, ‘I really would like for you to see you house yourself amongst the greats on the next album so that you can really hone in on playing jazz. You’ve done it with your peers. But I would like to see you with some elders,’” Fuller recalls. The net result is a sparkling, cohesive album that optimizes her iridescent tone and supple, sometimes rhythmically aggressive, improvisations through an enticing program of mostly originals firmly rooted in the language of 21st century modern post-bop.

The actual day of recording Diamond Cut marked the first time Fuller worked with both DeJohnette and Holland. “Seeing them arrive at the studio and set up, I was definitely nervous,” Fuller says. “But as soon as we started playing, it was all about the music. One thing that I appreciated from both of them was that they approached the music in a very humble way and really honored it.”

Indeed, Fuller sparks an electrifying rapport with DeJohnette and Holland on the pneumatic waltz “Queen Intuition,” on which Rogers and Yahel provide subtle harmonic cushioning, and the capricious “Joe’n Around,” on which Fuller unravels various improvised, melodic fragments associated by three of her saxophone mentors – Joe Lovano, Joe Henderson and Joe Jennings. They’re also featured on the episodic “The Coming,” of which Fuller uses Clark Atlanta University professor Daniel Black’s The Coming: A Novel as inspiration in the retelling of the Middle Passage that brought captured African slaves to the Americas; a prancing reading of Mal Waldron’s signature composition, “Soul Eyes,” on which she tips her hat to John Coltrane; and the soothing “Delight,” which takes its inspiration from the Christian Biblical scripture, Psalms 37:4 – “Delight in the Lord/And he will give you the desires of the heart.”

The album also marks the first time Fuller has recorded with Genus and Stewart. And again, she strikes a winning accord, indicative of the album’s searing opening piece, “In The Trenches,” on which she rides a turbulent momentum steered by Stewart’s jagged rhythms and Genus’ hefty, propulsive bass lines. “That was the first song that I wrote for the album, while I was literally in the trenches of transitioning and balancing my work schedule and dealing with personal family challenges,” Fuller explains. “I literally felt like I could not move. I remember being in my office feeling like I was all the way in the trenches, trying to dig myself out.”

From there, Fuller along with Genus and Stewart render “Save Your Love For Me,” the first of only three jazz standards on Diamond Cut. The soulful makeover – arranged by vibraphonist, drummer and fellow Mack Avenue Records artist Warren Wolf – allows Fuller to pay homage to yet another significant lodestar, Cannonball Adderley. Also powered by the Genus-and-Stewart rhythm team, Fuller delivers the majestic ballad “Crowns Of Grey,” which honors her parents, Fred and Elthopia Fuller, both of whom encouraged her formative musical growth while living in Aurora, Colorado.

Fuller praises Carrington for her production ingenuity, which helped guide Diamond Cut from its early conception to completion. “Terri really pays attention to minutia while being able to see the big picture,” Fuller says. “And she can enhance the big picture by having an endless arsenal of ideas for sounds and song structures. Even while I was writing the tunes, she was on the front lines saying, ‘Tia, you want each and every song to be the best song that you’ve ever written.’ She was always strongly encouraging me to not just lapse into what I’ve done before. She really helped shape the finer points of the compositions, then as the producer she put her magic touch on it.”

This newest outing illustrates that Fuller continues to etch away at her inner diamond as a saxophonist, composer, bandleader and educator. History will surely reveal Diamond Cut to be a landmark chapter in her artistic journey.


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