Label: Guava Records Released: December 2020
New York’s Linda Diaz presents ‘Live at Guava’ - 3 tracks of Rhodes, piano and vocal. Minimal instrumentation requires maximum musicality and any gaps that are ordinarily filled by the collagen of production, are unrequired due to the stellar chord voicings of Elijah Fox and the elegance of Linda Diaz’s phrasing.
Although we are living in an age of advanced musicianship, it has been impossible for many to replicate the hard earned dignity of the ballad. This particular branch of song is the combination of style, form and grace, but at its core, the catalyst is pain. The compositional collision of these two jazz artists demonstrates this with particular authenticity throughout the whole project, but for me is at its most classic in re-worked second track ‘Hard to Be’. "Oh, it's hard to be
Anything worth being
Oh, it's hard to be happy
Hard to be humble
Hard to be with you, you
Hard to be with you"
New and unreleased third track ‘That Shade of Blue’ moved me into a truly different state of mind. This is really where I really began to truly appreciate Linda's phrasing and the expert playing of the Fender Rhodes, on both this and opening track ‘Hold On Me’. The stories are sung so beautifully we could almost be fooled into thinking pain was worth it.
Having recently won the Tiny Desk Contest 2020, she and her band performed outside due to Covid19 restrictions. It's a superb concert, in which we get to hear her entire 2019 EP 'Magic'. What's so great about it is that it's a perfect prelude to 'Live at Guava' which, in essence, is a ligature of sensitive playing and vocal delicacy.