Diana Robinson Plays the Music of Joe Belcastro
- Artist: Diana Robinson
- Format: CD
- Release Date:5/23/2006
All tracks on this CD were produced, arranged, performed, recorded and mixed by Diana Robinson. Vocal tracks sung by Karen Morrissey, Diana Robinson and Joe Belcastro (see track listings below). Joe Belcastro (1940-1985) was born in Shinnston, West Virginia, studied at West Virginia University and lived for a time in New York City. An outstanding pianist, Joe appeared on West Virginia Public Radio, won a State Department tour and performed with many outstanding jazz artists. He was also an extremely generous and insightful teacher. Diana uses a Macintosh Dual G5 running Cubase SX recording software, a MOTU 896HD hard disk recorder, VST (Virtual Studio Technology) Plugins, Stylus RMX, Fxpansion's BFD Drum Kits, Miroslav Philharmonic VST, Spectrasonics Trilogy Bass VST, Waves Production Mastering Plugins, a Kurzweil K2600R and a Yamaha P120 keyboard controller. Song Descriptons: Whispering Winds Music and Lyrics by Joe Belcastro; Vocal by Karen Morrissey Joe wrote this tune sometime in the early 70s. He always played it at a pretty fast clip. I love the unexpected turns the harmony takes on the bridge. Karen Morrissey, a wonderful singer I worked with years ago sings a version of the tune I think Joe would have been happy with. Periphery Music by Joe Belcastro This 5/4 tune shows Joe's amazing harmonic and rhythmic songwriting ability. It's a fun tune to play and I've arranged it here for flute, trombone, trumpet and rhythm section. Where My Love Was Born For You Music by Joe Belcastro; Lyrics by Linda Phillips Vocal by Diana Robinson This is one of my favorite tunes. It has several clever harmonic turns. Playing a guitar line on a keyboard is a bit challenging but I liked the way the guitar sound worked with the tune. I sing this one. Phrenetic Music by Joe Belcastro Joe wrote this be-bop tune while he was a student at West Virginia University. It's got some great Òout-thereÓ harmonies. I stick pretty closely to Joe's original trio arrangement on this recording. I'm Not the Fool Anymore Music and Lyrics by Joe Belcastro; Vocal by Diana Robinson I sing Joe's beautiful 3/4 time tune. I think the harmonic turns on the bridge really make this tune special. Why Don't We Try Again Music by Joe Belcastro; Lyrics by Diana Robinson Vocal by Karen Morrissey Joe wrote this ballad in 1977 and I wrote the lyrics while driving from Shinnston, WV to Athens, Ohio after visiting Joe and recording his playing and my jazz harmony lesson on an old portable cassette recorder. The words just seemed to flow out and match Joe's melody effortlessly. I never recorded the tune but here Karen sings a great version and I sing backup harmonies. I wish Joe could have heard it. May Music by Joe Belcastro This sweet little tune captures much of Joe's optimism. I recorded Joe playing a solo piano version of this back in May 1977. It was untitled at the time. I arranged here it with lots of electric piano and accessory percussion. The Silver Swan Music by Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625); Lyrics by Christopher Hattan; Adapted by Joe Belcastro; Vocal by Diana Robinson Joe took the tenor line of this Orlando Gibbons madrigal, re-harmonized it and added a beautiful 3/4 time signature, making a remarkably updated and beautiful tune. I played a trio of recorders (VSTs) to accompany my singing. Zephyr (Nina) Music by Joe Belcastro I'm not sure why we started calling this tune Zehpyr instead of it's original title Nina. It is a great mix of Latin and polychordal harmonies. I've struggled for years to play this tune with the same laid-back, yet driving energy that Joe had when he played it. For Bill Music by Joe Belcastro Jazz trombonist Bill Watrous, visited Ohio University in 1977, and Joe wrote this beautiful ballad for him. I play it here as a solo piano piece to highlight Joe's beautiful harmonies and exquisite song structure. Excursion Music by Joe Belcastro This wild little piece was written when Joe was a student at West Virginia University. It is another example of Joe's innovative harmonic and rhythmic style. I kept this in a traditional jazz trio setting. El Baile Music by Joe Belcastro Joe's 3/4 tunes are always a joy to play. This one has a very interesting bridge which goes into 6/8. The harmonies and melodic line are very unique and leave lots of room for improvisation and invention over the basic tune structure. Two People Love Music and Lyric by Joe Belcastro; Vocal by Joe Belcastro I used to record my lessons with Joe on a really cheap, portable cassette recorder. I always loved the way he sang this tune. It's another of his 3/4 tunes, this time with a few 2/4 bars in the style of Burt Bacharach (a musical hero Joe and I shared). I used some digital technology to strip out as much of the vocal as I could, then added piano, bass and drums to match Joe's tempo (which wavers a bit at times). Some of Joe's piano playing comes through so I've tried to match the tuning as best I could. Technicalities aside, it's great to hear Joe singing a tune he had some success with while he lived in New York and which he sings so well. Marilyn's Mood Music by Joe Belcastro Joe named this tune for his friend and percussionist Guy Remonko's wife, Marilyn. It's another great AABA be-bop tune with a great bridge. Guy recently sent me the chart. December Music by Joe Belcastro I learned so much from Joe and his polychordal approach to harmony. This tune is almost 90% polychords. I love the suspended feel this give the tune, resolving briefly in the bridge. Thanks Thanks to Guy Remonko, Joe's drummer and friend of many years and teacher extraordinaire. Guy was the person who first introduced me to Joe and encouraged our friendship. Also, thanks to Joe's Aunt Rose (Belcastro) for all her help sending photographs and reliving fond memories of Joe. This CD is dedicated to the memory of Joseph Anthony Belcastro (1940-1985).