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Last night I had the pleasurre of hearing one of the greatest jazz bands perfom on stage in Detroit, Michigan of all places. Allow me to introduce you to Diamond Steele Jazz Quuintet, a band whom I believe will soon become the new sound of jazz in this nation the up coming months... Diamond Steele is a disciplined musical group that has spent many years perfecting their style and sound, as they have attempted to mold their musical craft into performance perfection.
This jazz quintet has arrived on the scene with a new and distinctive jazz sound. Their flare with jazz, in both the idioms and its riffs, is clearly defined in every sounding note that is heard coming from their live performance. Their sound possessed the quality of musical greatness heard in smooth jazz, but with the flare of bebop. The entire flavor of that musical ensemble is easily comparable to that which is often heard by other contemporary jazz artists today, but with a higher touch of greatness. Their breakthrough jazz sound comes forth, starting with the blaze of the trumpet, performed by Marcus A. Allen Sr., all the way through to the tickling of the ivories of his fifteen year old son, young keyboardist, Marcus A. Allen Jr.
Their sound is truly urbane, which almost anyone can truly relate to and appreciate. The bouncing sounds, of their tune, “Jammin-N-Detroit” expressed the harmonic smoothness that could be felt in every chord; from the thrashing of the piano to the soaring sounds of the trumpet.
Diamond Steele’s approach to jazz seems to reach new heights and levels which seems to be teetering on the brink of jazz contempt, but after thoroughly listening to this group I soon discovered that their music falls effortlessly to the unbiased and undeniable relaxing sounds of jazz heard today.
Easystreet, one of the tunes they performed, had a quality of sound that distinguished itself from most every other jazz musician on the circuit today. Their music quickly drew me in, and cn honestly say that they achieved its primal objective with the audience last night, as they displayed great dynamic control in such a small and crampped space. This feat displays the ability of Marcus Sr.’s trumpet prowess, and it is one performance that was truly difficult for many trumpeters to imitate or accomplish, but Marcus Sr., accomplished it with ease. But as I listened on to their performance throughout the night I heard no vain performances, no lack luster giveaways, no diminishing qualities in their performance, or being haphazardly stated in their playing. Their simple melodies and rhythms were strongly emphasized continuously throughout their entire performance.
I simply could not believe my ears and their level of professionalism and performance ability, which was true to their very own mission statement, "To Achieve Musical Excellence," and excellence is exactly what I heard the entire two and a half hours I listened to them perform at Burt"s Market Place. This versitile group had in its five piece ensemble, a fifteen year old pianist that was every bit as proficient as Herbie Hancock or Joe Sample.
Diamond Steele, is lead by the musical competence of Marcus A. Allen Sr. Mr. Allen is both a trumpet virtuoso and composer from Detroit, and he has been leading this group for the past eleven years. It was hard for me to believe that they have gone unsigned by a major abel, as they have the image that would transcend well in the music industry. Thier persona carried well over, even after they were found mingling in with the crowd during their intermission. According to them, Diamond Steele has been playing professionally throughout the Metro Detroit area for more than ten years, and I would say they are flying well below the music industry's radar, or they are just being over looked. Under Mr. Allen’s leadership the Diamond Steele has blossomed, into a very accomplished and professional musical group.
Yet, I felt that the depth, talent, and versatility of this group was very easy to spot, and I can see why