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Jeremy Wilms | Diamond People

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Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz Avant Garde: Structured Improvisation Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Diamond People

by Jeremy Wilms

The first release as a leader for this New York based multi-instrumentalist and composer. Fusing modern jazz sensibilities with a harder grittier aesthetic and featuring exceptional sidemen, this genre bending album is an exciting must listen.
Genre: Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Disjunct (feat. Matt Hilgenberg, Cochemea Gastelum, Tomas Fujiwara & Danton Boller)
5:02 $0.99
2. Clone Village (feat. Tomas Fujiwara, Danton Boller, Matt Hilgenberg & Cochemea Gastelum)
6:26 $0.99
3. Answers (feat. Matt Hilgenberg, Cochemea Gastelum, Tomas Fujiwara & Danton Boller)
10:06 $0.99
4. Blues for Kinah (feat. Tomas Fujiwara, Greg Gonzalez & Steve Blanco)
7:18 $0.99
5. Broken Things (feat. Cochemea Gastelum, Dylan Fusillo & Reinaldo De Jesus)
3:02 $0.99
6. Retraction (feat. Tomas Fujiwara, Matt Hilgenberg, Cochemea Gastelum & Danton Boller)
5:50 $0.99
7. Alphaville (feat. Tomas Fujiwara, Greg Gonzalez & Steve Blanco)
9:53 $0.99
8. Hymn (feat. Tomas Fujiwara, Greg Gonzalez & Steve Blanco)
3:27 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
DIAMOND PEOPLE : The first album by Jeremy Wilms | instrumentalist/composer

Featuring : Tomas Fujiwara, Greg Gonzalez: drums; Cochemea Gastelum: Flute and Saxophone; Danton Boller: Bass; Matt Hilgenberg: Trumpet; Reinaldo De Jesus and Dylan Fusillo: Percussion; Steve Blanco: Keyboards
Recorded at Headgear Studios Brooklyn NY by Scott Norton
Mixed by Jeremy Wilms
Cover art: John Carr

We occupy an interesting in point in the history of music. The idea of music as an art form has been subverted and fractured to a place of absurdity. Advertising parades as an art form and pop musicians musical output is nothing more than another thing to billboard-ize to sell the brand of themselves (or hair care products or clothes or their "reality" tv show). Real art music goes unheard or neglected due to its conscription to ivory tower-ism and/or marginalized fringe support. And then there is "jazz", or "Jazz" if you prefer. Standing there in a suit in the corner taking skill and discipline to learn, command of instruments and chord theory and improvisation, and  unfortunately becoming a paint by numbers exercise boring the hell out of most people with pulses.
What inspires one to ignore these sad truths and make a recording of living breathing people in a room at one time searching for sounds and structures that haven't been explored? That would be the impulse of art, true creation.
Not that this music is not in a lineage. But it is a lineage of individuality that is being sought out.
Eric Dolphy, Herbie Nichols, Chico Hamilton, these are the predecessors of the music contained on this album. And if you must have a guitar reference, Sonny Sharrock and Hendrix smashed together with Thurston Moore in between Grant Green and Gabor Szabo. If you must.
But it may be Chico Hamilton's influence that is paramount. The first new guitarist Chico used in 20 years after Cary DeNegris, Wilms spent a year and a half going to Chico's penthouse apartment and absorbing lessons on comping, arranging, and just generally being a bad mother@&$?er. Those lessons came in handy in the assembling of this set of music.
But Wilms is not a jazz scene type of guy. Not at all. His next gig was paying bass, guitar and keyboards in the Broadway production of Fela! about the life of Nigerian music rebel Fela Kuti. Any other Broadway gig would not be his cup of tea but studying and immersing himself in Fela's music was huge. Blocking out all the BS that comes with theater politics, the years of this show were spent studying Fela's completely unique music form. Which brings us back to the point, individuality.
I could go on about gigs with rock band TV on the Radio, hip hop's El-P, Sonic Youth side projects, what have you. The bottom line is it is about creativity and the individual, as you will get when you sink into this recording.

The main reason it’s taken Jeremy Wilms so long to do his own thing is that he’s been so
busy doing a little bit of everything. A jazz and classical composer; a singer-songwriter; a
bandleader; a guitarist, bassist and keyboardist; an electronica producer; a rock musician;
a composer of film scores; Wilms’ resume is remarkably varied and incredibly prolific,
but has long been eclipsed by his busy work on Broadway stages and in sideman gigs.
That all changes with the 2014 release of Wilms’ debut solo CD, Diamond People, which
showcases his eclectic jazz compositions and electrifying and soulful guitar playing. Like
the titular gem, the album reveals Wilms as an artist of multiple facets, with music
ranging from straightahead swing to angular modernity, electric funk grooves to prog
complexity, African rhythms to chorale-like poignancy. Diamond People is soon to be
followed by Wilms’ first release as a singer-songwriter, a distinct but equally heartfelt
aspect of his musical personality.
A native of Miami, Florida, Wilms moved with his family to Atlanta at the age of twelve,
where he began to study music and break into the local jazz scene. He studied classical
guitar, composition and psychology at Georgia State University and was mentored by a
number of great but undersung musicians on the Atlanta scene, including drummer Kinah
Boto, who worked with the likes of Nneena Freelon, Russell Gunn, and Marcus Printup.
Wilms repays Boto via the homage “Blues for Kinah” on Diamond People.
Since arriving in New York City in 1996, Wilms has maintained an admirably hectic
schedule, working in settings that cover a wide arc of the musical spectrum. He spent
more than five years performing with the musical Fela!, beginning with its off-Broadway
run and continuing through its much-heralded Broadway production. Conceived by Bill
T. Jones and Jim Lewis, Fela! was nominated for eleven Tony Awards, winning three. In
addition to that show, Wilms earned his Afrobeat cred subbing with the popular Brooklyn
band Antibalas for more than six years, playing bass in the combustible ensemble which
draws inspiration from the funk and jazz hybrids of Fela Kuti’s Africa 70 band and Eddie
Palmieri’s Harlem River Drive Orchestra.
Wilms also spent six months as guitarist for legendary drummer and bandleader Chico
Hamilton, working closely with the influential jazzman, still strong in his (then) late 80s.
He has performed in the orchestra of the late Butch Morris, the creator of the guided
improvisation known as “conduction.” And for more than a decade Wilms played,
recorded and composed songs with Spanish pop chanteuse Christina Rosenvinge, which
involved collaborating with Steve Shelley and Lee Ranaldo of noise-rock stalwarts Sonic
In addition, Wilms has performed and recorded with independent rapper El-P and played
bass and guitar with Brazilian bossa nova singer Bebel Gilberto. He has played bass and
keyboards with acclaimed indie rock band TV on the Radio, recording cello parts for
their album Return To Cookie Mountain.
Wilms is a founding member of the bands Chin Chin and Big Mono and currently leads
the prog rock band NOMOTO. He has composed music for several soundtrack
recordings, including the Sundance Channel series Iconoclasts, the CNN documentary
Far From Home, and PBS’ online educational series Math Club.


Tomas Fujiwara is a Brooklyn-based drummer and composer. Described as “a ubiquitous presence in the New York scene…an artist whose urbane writing is equal to his impressively nuanced drumming” (Troy Collins, Point of Departure), Tomas is an active player in some of the most exciting music of the current generation, with his band Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up; his collaborative duo with cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum; the collective quartet The Thirteenth Assembly (with Bynum, guitarist Mary Halvorson, and violist Jessica Pavone); and a diversity of creative sideman work with forward thinking peers like Matana Roberts, Amir ElSaffar, and Matt Mitchell. In The New York Times, Nate Chinen writes, “Drummer Tomas Fuijwara works with rhythm as a pliable substance, solid but ever shifting. His style is forward-driving but rarely blunt or aggressive, and never random. He has a way of spreading out the center of a pulse while setting up a rigorous scaffolding of restraint...A conception of the drum set as a full-canvas instrument, almost orchestral in its scope.”


Danton Boller was born in Gary, Indiana in 1972. He spent his childhood in northwest Indiana until his family relocated to Huntington Beach, CA. at the age of 12. He first took up the electric bass at ten years old but it wasn't until his high school years that he started taking music seriously. In 1990,  Danton began playing the doublebass and studying with the "Senator" Eugene J. Wright of the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Danton attended California State University Long Beach to further his music studies in conjunction with studying with the "Senator." In 1997 he received the Shelly Manne New Talent Award from the Los Angeles Jazz Society. He also relocated to New York city in that same year to pursue his love of jazz.
 Danton has recorded, performed, and toured internationally with some of the world's greatest artists including: Roy Hargrove, Kat Edmonson, Alvin Queen, Bennie Wallace, Anthony Wilson, Ari Hoenig, Adam Rafferty, Jazz Mandolin Project, Jon Fishman, Robert Glasper, Elysian Fields, Alexi Murdoch, Fela (on Broadway) and The Village Vanguard Orchestra.


Matt Hilgenberg has been an active freelancer in New York City since the mid 1990's. After graduating with a BM and MA in Music Performance from NYU, Matt joined the Chico O'Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra that has appeared weekly at Birdland since 1997. With the band he has appeared in two films (The Thomas Crown Affair and Calle 54,) recorded two Grammy nominated albums (Heart of a Legend and Carambola,) and has toured much of Europe and Central America. In 2000 Hilgenberg recorded his first jazz CD as a leader, Rasa, on the Double Time Jazz label. In 2001 he toured with the Duke Ellington Orchestra and salsa legend Jose Alberto "El Canario." A few years later, he could be found touring the country with Brooklyn based afrobeat band Antibalas, currently the house band for the hit Broadway show Fela! In 2005 Hilgenberg toured the US and Canada with the Broadway show Movin' Out! Currently, Hilgenberg subs on several Broadway shows, teaches, plays with several local groups and leads his own jazz quartet.


Cochemea Gastelum, one of New York City’s most in-demand saxophonists,  has been a key player in the blossoming new soul and Afrobeat scenes that have leapt out of Brooklyn to take the world by storm in recent years. The versatile Brooklyn-based musician has performed and/or recorded with a diverse group of artists, including Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Archie Shepp, Paul Simon, Antibalas, Public Enemy, The Roots, The Budos Band and Amy Winehouse.


Beauty, sensitivity and force radiate through the drumming of Greg Gonzalez. For nearly twenty years Greg has been one of New York City's most versatile and sought after musicians. His resume includes performance and recording credits with top artists in virtually every genre of music including: Beyonce, Patti LaBelle, Teddy Geiger, Jazz Mandolin Project, Cecil Taylor, Sonya Kitchell, Danielia Cotton, Antibalas, Femi Kuti, Bernie Worell, Don Braden, and many more. Greg is the currently the drummer and associate conductor for the Tony Award winning Broadway show Fela!.


PIano, Synthesizers, Composer, Filmmaker and Creator


Reinaldo De Jesus was born in SanJuan, Puerto Rico. In 1990, he was admitted to the Escuela Libre De Musica in Hato Rey, P.R. where he expanded his music comprehension and theory and ear training. Also he and other students founded the youngest salsa group at that time called, Revolucion Latina. They performed all over Puerto Rico for four years. Reinaldo graduated from the "ELM" in 1996 and enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico and at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, where he studied classical percussion. Reinaldo recorded and performed with many well known musicians and artist such as: Cultura Profetica, DLG, Charlie Cruz, Obie Bermudez, Rey Ruiz, Luis Marin, Danilo Perez, Humberto Ramirez, Eric Figueroa, and Julito Alvarado. In 1998, he received a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston. Reinaldo is part of the band on stage on the Tony award winner Broadway Musical FELA. In 2003, Reinaldo went on tour with Miguel Zenon and the Rhythm Collective to West Africa sponsored by the Jazz Ambassadors Program in D.C. After the tour, Reinaldo moved to New York City. He started to play congas with one of the most vibrant and intense modern Latin Jazz groups in NYC, Timbalaye. The group was lead by the great timbal player, Ralph Irizarry. He also started playing with musicians such as; Papo Vasquez and The Pirates Trobadours, Chris Washburn and the Syotos Band, Brian Lynch, Roy Hargrove's Big Band, guitarist for India Arie, Ricky Quiñones, and in 2005 he toured Europe and recorded with Hip-Hop and R&B singer, Lauryn Hill . In 2006, Reinaldo started his own Latin Jazz Group, Rhythmic Prophecies. His group was chosen twice for the Rhythm Road 2006 program by the Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Department of State in DC. Rhythmic Prophecies then went on a three week tour to Southeast Asia. Currently, he is composing and producing music for independent film projects and doing freelance performances in NYC with bands like the Afro-Beat group, Antibalas and the Latin Jazz group, The Curtis Brothers Quartet and several more.


Dylan Fusillo is from Atlanta, GA. While studying classical music during college, he performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Gloria Estefan, and he established himself as a regular at musical theaters across the region. He briefly moved to Nashville, where he worked as a staff musician at Opryland, backing up dozens of established and up and coming artists, from George Jones to Boots Randolph. In 1996, he moved to New York City to study jazz. He soon found himself sharing the stage with the likes of Joe Lovano and Al Jarreau. Developing his interest in world music, Fusillo went on to become a founding member of the seminal afrobeat band Antibalas, touring the world, making records, and backing artists from Femi and Seun Kuti to Baaba Maal. Recent years have found him broadening his horizons further, working with pop artists such as Beyoncé, Patti Labelle, and Babyface. Today, he is the percussionist with the Tony-Award winning afrobeat musical Fela! and continues to perform and record with artists such as Meshell N'Degeocello, The Roots, Roy Hargrove, Art Neville, Taj Mahal, Charlie Hunter, Sharon Jones, The Stills, Michael Franti, Prozaak, and Bill T Jones.



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