Cheerful and ambient, Diane Hubka’s vocals sprout happiness from every note. Her latest endeavor West Coast Strings, produced by guitarist David Eastlee and Hubka, is an assortment of jazz inspired palettes that take audiences from the classic pop crustaceans of Van Morrison’s “Moondance” to the bossa nova rustle underscoring Antonio Jobim’s “Brigas Nunca Mais” supplemented by Hubka singing the lyrics in Spanish. Brimming with optimism, West Coast Strings features nine distinct guitarists including Hubka showcasing the clarion tone of the acoustic guitar and its melodic texture.
Paced with a slow, balmy stride, “Amanhacer” has a Latin twinkle in the guitar’s tone gently caressing the berth of brushed beats laid out by bassist John Leftwich and drummer Enzo Tedesco. The romantic luster of “Never Let Me Go” is kindled by the misty wisps of the guitar chords transitioning to a joyful cantor in “Moon Ray” supported by bassist Jeff D’Angelo and drummer Kendall Kay. The breezy atmospherics contouring “They Say It’s Spring” is landscaped in bubbly guitar licks which turn dulcet in “Slow Hot Wind” as Hubka’s vocals move tenderly along the chord progressions.
The sparse acoustics of “A Flower is a Lovesome Thing” makes every nuance of Hubka’s vocals pronounced with poise and finesse. The bluesy grooves of “Someone Else is Steppin’ In” and “West Coast Blues” act as a booster for Hubka’s vocals modulated to a jaunting jazz swagger in “Peace” then shifting to a spritely glisten along “Warming to Spring” draped in Hubka’s scatting vocals.
Diane Hubka explores the dimension of her vocals and flexes her prowess as a guitarist on West Coast Strings. Originally from western Maryland, Hubka’s repertoire covers a breadth of jazz guitar and vocals that shows passion in her creations and a spirit affected by the art of form of jazz fusion.
Vocals – Diane Hubka; guitar – Diane Hubka, Anthony Wilson, Mimi Fox, Peter Sprague, Larry Koonse, Barry Zweig, David Eastlee, John Pisano, and Ron Eschete; Hammond B3 – Bobby Pierce; bass – Jeff D’Angelo and Jeff Leftwich; drums – Kendall Kay and Enzo Tedesco
West Coast Blues (Wes Montgomery, Sascha Burland), Moondance (Van Morrison), Brigas Nunca Mais (AC Jobim, Vinicius De Moraes), Peace (Horace Silver), Warming to Spring (David Eastlee, Julie Cresswell), It Ain’t Necessarily So (George and Ira Gershwin), Amanhacer (John Pisano, Jeanne Pisano), Never Let Me Go (Jay Livingston, Ray Evan), Moon Ray (Artie Shaw, Arthur Quenzer), They Say It’s Spring (Bob Haymes, Marty Clarke), Slow Hot Wind (Henry Mancini, Norman Gimbel), A Flower is a Lovesome Thing (Billy Strayhorn, Norman Winston), Someone Else is Steppin’ In (Denise LaSalle)