Symon's New Blue Diamonds
Gig Seeker Pro

Symon's New Blue Diamonds

Band Alternative Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Symon's New Blue Diamonds"

When listening to Symon's New Blue Diamonds, you may get the urge to watch Pee Wee's Big Adventure. Using Songs that were originally composed by Syumon Michael, they combine carnival-style music with a little rock-n-roll flair. The six piece rock band is comprised of the standard power tiro (bass, guitar, drums) and a revolving horn section that includes clarinet, flute, trumpet, tenor and baritone sax.

The band does not try to resist the carnival moniker, but embraces it by dressing the part in clown style makup and oversize suits. On songs like "Good Stuff", they could when playing "When The Saints Go Marching In," but with a rock drummer. "Freewheeling Sex Carnival" shows off the talents of the horn section. The beginning of "I Was A Teenage Teenager" could be a Rolling Stones somg until the horns come in and become something completely different. Sometimes they will throw in an electric guitar, other times noodling flutes, but it's all just the type of stuff you'd expect from a bunch of carnies.

by Shannon Carlin - Beyond Race Magazine

"Michael sees love like a circus funhouse, where mirrors make shapes look all out of proportion."

Symon Michael’s music is nearly indescribable. Such a statement makes you want to stop reading this review right away, correct? Well, I may not be able to describe One Hundred Nights Of Passion, but I can certainly praise it. And it's deserving of high praise.

Michael plays tenor and baritone sax, guitar, bass, flute, clarinet, and programs a drum machine. And this CD sounds a lot like Arthur Blythe jazz music, especially whenever Michael is blowing tenor saxophone. But it’s as though Blythe’s jazz combo had a head-on collision with a rock band, and this CD is the result of that unlikely encounter. Michael is also ably assisted by Morty Okin (trumpet and flugelhorn), David Majka (bass), Lamar Heaton (drums), Alexander Marlowe (piano and keyboards), and Mark Pistel (also keyboards).

The disc is “dedicated to anyone who has ever fallen in love and somehow managed to get through it in one piece.” As scary as that statement sounds, Michael still has a sense of humor about such troubling things. One of these tracks is titled “I Was a Teenage Teenager," for example. Another is called “The Lighter Side of Dutch Elm Disease." That's a short one, too, at just 1:27 in length. In fact, the longest track on this 15-song CD is a whopping 2:59. So while it borrows its inspiration from post-modern jazz, these players do not jam endlessly the way typical jazzmen are prone to do.

Jazz is the style that first comes to mind when listening to this disc. But its title track is actually a guitar-driven workout, which jams a little like a Police song minus the singing. The very next track, “It Must Be Love," seems to be going for something funky. It’s strange that Michael would dedicate this disc to anyone who has ever fallen in love. That’s because it’s certainly not sweet and tender, as are most love songs. Maybe Michael sees love like a circus funhouse, where mirrors make shapes look all out of proportion. Love takes a simple relationship between a man and woman, and sometimes turns this into an endless rollercoaster ride to hell. I think that’s what Michael means by his dedication. If so, love is not all it’s cracked up to be. Instead, it’s all about getting cracked up, and as Michael might say, managing to “get through it in one piece.”

by Dan Macintosh - Indie Music


Cram It Down (full length CD)
One Hundred Nights Of Passion (full length CD)



Symon's New Blue Diamonds is a six-piece instrumental rock band that features the music of Symon Michael, an avant garde jazz composer who paints musical narrations and landscapes using a rock pallete rather than the traditional jazz fare.

A standard power trio (bass, guitar and drums) is augmented by a three-piece horn section consisting of two tenor saxes and a trumpet.

The overall effect is LOUD and at the same time very tasty - biting rock melodies offset by a comical wedge of horns. Unique, unpredictable, and always a lot of fun!

The band has recently regrouped for the 2008 concert season. This time around, the horn section has been expanded to include a honkin' baritone sax and a sprinkling of ridiculous noodling flutes in addition to tenor sax, trumpet, and clarinet.

The rhythm section has been restyled also, and moves with a more slinky, modern dance sound than before. There's still all of the original rock sensibility, but the move is toward more groove-oriented, organic beats. No heavy jazz soloing this time around - the spotlight is on melody and overall arrangement.

Historical notes about the music and the band:
A lot of this music was originally written for film and advertising when Symon worked as a composer and transcriber for The Music Workshop in S.F. After writing advertising jingles and thematic pieces for local films for a few years, one of Symon's friends suggested that he simply rescore some of the pieces for a live stage act. When it was noted that "It sounds like some damn carnival band!", the suggestion was made that the band simply dress the part and go with the festival atmosphere that the music invoked.

So, that's exactly what happened - "Symon's New Blue Diamonds" was born, and from the very start began appearing on local stages in full clown costumes and makeup.

This is music that will make you chuckle and get your feet moving!