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Spinetta Jade - Alma de Diamante CD (album) cover

ALMA DE DIAMANTE

Spinetta Jade

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.39 | 51 ratings

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The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Fusion proveniente del Alma (Fusion from the Soul)

After the disbandment of Invisible, lead singer and songwriter, L.A. Spinetta released a solo album in 1978 entitled A 18' Del Sol, one of his most acclaimed solo efforts evoking the future jazz fusion spirit of his later 80s band, Spinetta Jade.

In 1980 the debut of Spinetta's jazziest group was finally released, called Alma de Diamante ("Diamond's Soul"), and damn, what a debut! Of course, it's not a real debut in the sense that it is the first time they compose and play in studio, Spinettta & Co. were already professionals by that time, so expect a very polished debut without the usual flaws of typical debuts.

First, let's state what type of fusion this band delivered. It's a smooth and very melodic fusion, with floating and chilling keyboards, an entertaining and diverse (but not technical-kind) rhythm section, good emotional soloing from the guitar and synths (not dated!) and finally, soulful vocals that is the band's most unique feature. Comparisons? Well, it reminds me a bit of Holdsworth's 80s solo stuff, the melody department specifically. So no, it's not really a clone or a derivative fusion band that resembles either Return to Forever or Mahavishnu Orchestra or Weather Report.

But what's so good of this fusion? Ah, the whole mixture of the previously stated elements. There are instrumentals, 'Amenaber' and 'Digital Ayatollah', which show the band in a more technical way, still very melodic. And then, there's the rest of tracks that have the lovely vocals of Luis Alberto, but they're not simple tunes either, still a lot going on from the band, powerful melodies, excellent solos, great instrumental parts, all in all making very pleasant and entertaining melodic fusion.

In last place, I'll say why this is in my opinion the band's greatest album. Mainly because this is purely consistent in great material and there's simply no filler or unmemorable parts. But mind you, the remaining three albums of the band are all quite different and worth of listening (with the exception of the last album), Los Niņos Que Escriben En El Cielo "plays" a lot with varied time signatures and Bajo Belgrano is a very soulful record with greater pop sensibilities that don't harm.

5 stars: masterpiece of Spinetta Jade and of Argentinian music. Unique album in this country that I highly recommend if you want to hear what Argentina can offer musically alongside stuff by Invisible and Seru Giran. If you're a fan of the lighter, more melodic fusion, this is a must, however if you are more into the avant-side of fusion like the Mwandishi albums by Hancock and the like, well this album might not be such a necessary record for you to get.

The Quiet One | 5/5 |

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