The Newer Stuff

Taking America to America

Behind the Scenes in Diamondville

You may know all about Neil Diamond, but there's a lot more to find out about the Neil Diamond tour.  This is an album recorded by the musicians in his band, playing and often singing songs about life on the road. 

The hotel life, the accountants, the string players, the horn players, the charter jets, the poker games, the percussionists, all those towns...

It's all here, it's funny, most of it, but some of it might make you cry for what used to be. 

The Davi Det Songs

2018

The Davi Det Songs had an origin that was mysterious and miraculous.

It began as a 1968 collaboration between myself and Fluxus artist Davi Det Hompson in Indiana.  After 30 years,  it remained unfinished for a variety of reasons. My career, after some twists and turns in Los Angeles,  found me working  on the road for 40 years as the pianist for singer Neil Diamond.

Davi Det, meanwhile,  had moved with his family to Richmond, Virginia, where he died suddenly in 1996 after a heart attack while running.

His premature passing was tragic, and his loss meant it was another 22 years before I thought about the songs we’d begun to work on so much earlier.

That came about when Neil Diamond announced his retirement from touring, after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. It resulted in my retirement from touring as well, and a  boost in attention for the sketches and written material that had been stored in a box in my studio since their beginning.

I remembered my long-ago promise to Davi Det that I would complete these songs someday. I realized that I had many years that were not given to Davi Det. I also found that the songs, which had seemed too strange and difficult for me back then, had somehow fallen into what was now my new mainstream.

I knew that I would have to find someone to sing then, since my attempts at vocalizing had mostly crashed and burned. The job of singing, fortunately, fell to my dear friend Daisy Press. The daughter of two or our band members, and someone who was entirely comfortable with the genre.

A job which had seemed like it might be difficult became a joyous party.

So here we have art inspired by music inspired by poetry inspired by conversation.

Or something. Davi Det says his work, or rather his play, is more about sculpture than poetry.

So we have painting inspired by music inspired by inspired by sculpture inspired by, what?

The album is available for download at all the usual locations.

Jazz Time

2015

I have been playing Neil Diamond's songs for more than half of my life, and at some point I began to wonder what it would be like to do them in completely different ways.

So I very slowly began to do just that. Over the last year it became an album called "Jazz Time."

That's also the name of a song I wrote with Neil 30 years ago, and that's the only one that's left fairly untouched.

The others are all over the place, with a lot of help from my talented and generous bandmates.

SPOILER ALERT:

•"Holly Holy" imagines Arturo Velasco sitting in on an Ahmad Jamal record.

•"Kentucky Woman" could be an outtake from "Birth of the Cool," featuring John Fumo.

•"Headed for the Future" heads to the future by way of roughly 1961, with Don Markese and myself appearing in the roles of Paul Desmond and Les McCann, perhaps.

It's not just the hits we revisited. Larry Klimas channels his inner Coltrane on "Home is a Wounded Heart," while we make "Dry Your Eyes" into something maybe a bit more mysterious. “Summerlove” is a cheap trip to Paris.

Oh, and we did a modern-day version of “A Modern Day Version of Love.”

If these notes don’t make sense to you, perhaps you will still recognize the songs.

The album is available for download at all the usual locations.

Somewhat older stuff

The Joy Circuit Joy Circuit to the World

The Joy Circuit Palm Springs (Eternal in the Human Hand)

The Masters of Deceit Hensey's Electric Jazz Band and Synthetic Symphonette)

The WFBM-TV Orchestra

The Pigeon Hill Boys

Etc.