In der Klactovee Edition erscheinen mehrheitlich Aufnahmen von "Blowing Sessions", die in altmodischer Manier in ein paar Stunden eingespielt werden: alle Musiker*innen in einem Raum, keine Kopfhörer. Das Repertoire besteht zur Hauptsache aus Stücken aus dem "Great American Songbook" und aus dem Jazz-Kanon.

Eine zentrale Inspirationsquelle für die Klacotvee Edition sind Alben, die Don Schlitten für die US-Labels Prestige, Muse, Cobblestone und Xandau produziert hat (Zitat Schlitten: "The end result has to be that the music is cooking, that's all. And my job would have to be to figure all that out in front").
Der Leitspruch der Klactovee Edition stammt von Thelonious Monk und lautet: "You've got to dig it to dig it, you dig?" Die Klactovee Edition wird von Tom Gsteiger programmiert und produziert.



Harvey Diamond It could Happen To You

Harvey Diamond It Could Happen To You

Harvey Diamond Piano.
Arne Huber Double Bass.
Domenic Landolf Tenor Saxophone.
Jorge Rossy Drums. Paiste Cymbals.
Nicole Pfister Artwork.

Release Date 2019 July




Is pianist Harvey Diamond a late bloomer? Or has he, like many jazzmen, somehow been lost in the shuffle between the giants and the journeymen of the music? It Could Happen to You, just Diamond’s third album, begs these questions.

It’s not as if Diamond has been off the jazz map (although he does not have the Internet). For 71 years (he was born in 1942), he’s played a myriad of clubs, concert halls, and jam sessions, played behind a lot of singers, and taught and studied, on both U.S. coasts. He was a student of the great iconoclastic improviser Lennie Tristano for ten years.

“What attracted me to jazz in the first place was just the idea of improvising and playing what comes into your head. That’s the difficult part, but it’s also the beautiful part. Once you play an improvisation, with a spark flowing from intuition, then it’s gone and you can’t get it back, for the simple reason that you can’t think and play at exactly the same time. The work came from our heads but the key was forgetting about that and just playing, getting the thoughts under your hands. And that comes with a lot of practice.”

Or, to paraphrase Lee Konitz, It takes a lot of preparation to play unprepared.

“I played all through college, then came to Boston, and I remember playing in a club with Alan Broadbent, who told me about Tristano. Alan and I started going down to New York together to hear him. I say that seeing Lennie was a tremendous turning point in my life. I can’t put my finger on it. Whatever music you heard, you had to get it through your ears … I stopped studying with Lennie two days before he passed.

“Jazz comes down to sound and feeling, it’s not just a style,” he said after recording this album. “I always remember Lennie saying three little words: ‘Just play music.’ What I got from him is that everybody’s different. There’s no one way to learn. Don’t rush, so that you can really take the music in. Lennie’s thing was to help you express whatever it was that you heard. It was totally related to the songs. Every week for about 10 years I travelled from Boston to New York for one lesson with him. I wouldn’t go forward until I had it down. One of the greatest things about Lennie is that you always knew he was on your side. My lesson was at four in the afternoon, and even if it was snowing and I’d get there five hours late, he was there for me.

Lennie wasn’t strict but you really had to get down and know. There’s some kind of magic about those eighty-eight keys, that’s a lot of territory to cover, and to stretch out.

“People are different, nobody learns the same way. The way Lennie learned how to teach was by listening to the people he taught. Some teaching is too analytical. The great jazz musicians learned from each other, listening to what came before them.”

Diamond had a quartet as far back as junior high school, in Fresno, California, playing high school dances, 50s rock ‘n’ roll and eventually standards. “We were all about 14 and won some contest, so we were flown out to Hollywood to appear on the Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour radio show. It featured all kinds of different acts and listeners would vote for their favorite. The guy who won had painted a face on his abdomen with a top hat and wiggled his stomach! So we came in second!”

He has always been his own man, a musician’s musician, and that also goes for his personal environs in Boston. “I almost moved to New York in the mid-70s. I felt like it, and I sat on it for three months, but then the feeling went away. I loved playing there because I was seeing musicians I hadn’t seen in 30-odd years. But I didn’t want to actually live there.”

Finally he entered the recording studio for two albums: The Harvey Diamond Trio, with Marcus McLaurine and Satoshi Takeishi (2015), and Fair Weather with Cameron Brown (2018).

The list of admirers grew, including singer Sheila Jordan (“He plays from his heart and totally disappears into the song. He's a real joy to sing with”), bassist Cameron Brown (“a unique and brilliant musician: a pianist's pianist with a remarkable touch, unimpeachable technique and enormous dynamic range. A creative and unpredictable improvisor, Harvey's roots go back to Lennie Tristano and Bill Evans, spiced with just a touch of Cecil Taylor. He draws the audience into his world and holds it spellbound”), Vermont Jazz Center director Eugene Uman (“a complete absence of pretension … his interpretations are egoless reflections of where he is in the moment, presented through a lens of years of study and experience”), and saxophonist Dave Liebman (“a master teacher and player who has positively influenced legions of musicians over the years”).

It Could Happen to You, Diamond's most fully realized record, came about in a round-about way. Producer Tom Gsteiger says: “I just came across his name recently, just before the recording. I had read an article about Michael Kanan, another pianist I like very much, who was a student of Harvey’s for about 20 years. I started to check him out on the Internet but there was very little on him, just some live recordings where the sound quality is not so good.“ Originally, Gsteiger says, he had always wanted to make a standards record with Swiss saxophonist Domenic Landolf. After hearing Harvey, I thought he could be a good mix with Domenic. “Domenic is one of my favorite tenor players today, a very interesting player who has a lot of influences but puts them together in a very original and organic way, has great ears, and really knows the standards. It was Harvey who chose the standards, so it was important to have a sax player who enjoyed playing them. Domenic can be very melodic but he can be abstract, too. I wanted to bring him together with a pianist who was maybe slightly more conservative yet very open to new ideas.”

Gsteiger also asked drummer Jorge Rossy, late of Brad Mehldau’s trio and who lives near Barcelona and teaches in Basel (Switzerland), if he wanted to record with Diamond, with whom he played at jam sessions for about three years while studying in Boston. This album represents a reunion between the two of them after not seeing each other for over 20 years.

“I hadn't seen Harvey since 1991,” says Rossy, “and never imagined that such an opportunity to play and record with him would arise.“

“It all worked out great,” says Gsteiger, whose mission has always been to record under-recorded musicians: “There were very few takes, Harvey was very enthusiastic during the session. He would start playing another tune while the other musicians were talking about the tune they’d done before. It was a very relaxed session.”

The result is a true labour of love, a chance to discover a great musician who contributes mightily to jazz’s status as a truly original art form.

Juan Rodriguez, Montréal

When Tom Gsteiger called me to ask me if I could play with Harvey Diamond I was very pleasantly surprised. I hadn't seen Harvey since 1991 and never imagined that such an opportunity to play and record with him would arise because he rarely comes to Europe. I thought Tom's idea of teaming him up with Domenic Landolf was also great; he happens to be one of my favorite musicians and I thought he would be able to connect with Harvey right away.

The recording session felt totally relaxed and inspiring. It really provided an opportunity for me to reconnect with Harvey whose sound is completely his own but also very familiar to me since I played a lot with him in my most formative years. I think his aesthetic and idiosyncrasies are part of a very loved comfort zone for me where unpredictability meets beauty and swing.

All I did as a drummer was to get inside each tune and stay mindful to not miss the conversation that ensued from the interplay between the four of us.

Arne Huber was a perfect match for the occasion: the clarity and centrality of his beat, his beautiful sound and his egoless approach made the music flow with ease and in complete synergy with everyone else.

Domenic was just as liquid as usual, totally aware of each sound around him and playfully creating a musical discourse that is just as open as it is cohesive. All of it with a totally unpretentious sense of humor and sensibility.

Harvey is a pure, lyrical improviser with his very own language and an amazing flow of ideas, colors and swing.

I have to say also that the conditions of the recording were ideal. It was an unforgettable meeting of musical soul-mates; the magic arrives on the first beat and stays around till the final echoes of the last note.

Jorge Rossy, Begues / Barcelona

Harvey Diamond’s playing is unique. After studying for several years with jazz innovator Lennie Tristano, he went on to form a powerful pianistic voice: bold, lyrical, sometimes abstract, sometimes tender, but always swinging. One cannot easily categorize his style because he is deeply in the moment when he plays. He goes wherever his heart and imagination lead him. This is why listeners are so drawn to him. He expresses a rare depth of feeling with total honesty and without ego or self-consciousness. He is truly an artist.

Michael Kanan, New York