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Spinetta Jade - Alma de Diamante CD (album) cover

ALMA DE DIAMANTE

Spinetta Jade

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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4 stars Diamond soul

After "Invisible", L.A.Spinetta created Spinetta Jade. The Spinetta Jade's first album was a good begining. The musical influences in this work are mainly Jazz and afro-latin rhythms and some things of classic symphonic rock.

(1) "Amenabar": an strange composition. In some parts, this theme is a bossa nova, but it has jazz-rock parts. Instrumental, with interesting solos. ****

(2) "Alma de diamante": a kind of prog ballad. A nice song. In the middle and arriving the ending, there are 2 beautifuls synth's solos.***

(3) "Con la sombra de tu aliado (El aliado)": an intrincate composition. Odd meters, calculated harmony, "virtuosity" in the solos.... ****

(4) "Dale gracias": one of the less symphonic themes from this album. The sound is some "bluesy".***

(5) "La diosa salvaje": in a simple view, the voices might be shocking. But the song finally is nice. There is an amazing piano's solo.***

(6) "Digital Ayatollah": excellent instrumental composition. Complex, symphonic, 'jazzy', 'rocker', 'arabic' and 'superb' work.*****

(7) "Sombras en los álamos": the 'epic' song of this album. A complex composition too, as the previous track. Very emotional lyrics, and accompaniment.****

Average rate: 3.7 stars

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Send comments to Marcos (BETA) | Report this review (#117727)
Posted Monday, April 09, 2007 | Review Permalink
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 Nińos 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.

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Send comments to The Quiet One (BETA) | Report this review (#348520)
Posted Thursday, December 09, 2010 | Review Permalink
crimson87
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The first record made by Spinetta Jade is one of the highlights of South American Jazz ? Fusion scene. To make a summary description of this album , it's a very accessible jazz rock record including passionate vocals by Spinetta. All members of the band are masters of their respective instrument , but they don't overplay or have many solo spots making the record very friendly for newcomers to the jazz ? fusion genre.

The record is the most consistent of the Spinetta Jade releases including seven really strong tracks. Among those tracks you will find two instrumental tracks (Amenabar and Digital Ayatollah) and the other 5 tracks include stellar performances by all the band members and the most important factor of this album are the lovely vocals by the band leader Luis Alberto Spinetta.

Instrumentally , this record has predominant bass and keyboard sounds but is far from being a keyboard driven album , the guitar is classy played by Spinetta on the whole record and the record it's very balanced. I strongly recommend this album to those who want to get either into jazz fusion since it's much more accessible than the records from the "Big Three" of the genre meaning Weather Report , Mahavishnu Orchestra and Return To Forever.

This record is one of those hidden gems that can be found among the site and hope that this review will help you in raising your interest in South American prog and Jazz Fusion in general

IMPORTANT: If you want to check an even stronger jazz fusion album by Spinetta get A 18' del Sol. At the time this record is not included on the site.

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Send comments to crimson87 (BETA) | Report this review (#559226)
Posted Saturday, October 29, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Spinetta Jade provided a haven for the classic jazz-rock sounds of the 1970s on this 1980 release. Whilst other fusion artists - including pioneers of the genre - struggled to adapt to 1980s production aesthetics and then-modern synthesisers, here Luis Spinetta and his comrades (particularly synthesiser and keyboard wizards Juan del Barrio and Diego Rapoport) do a brilliant job of producing an album which sounds fresh and clear and new and packed with novel synthesiser and keyboard textures on the one hand whilst still providing a fusion sound which will appeal to a broad range of fans of the genre, whether your cup of tea is the breezy textures of Weather Report, the volcanic tempestuousness of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, or the whimsy and unpredictability of Frank Zappa or the Canterbury scene.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#984956)
Posted Monday, June 24, 2013 | Review Permalink

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