Saturday, September 18, 2010

"One Tribe, Many Voices" Podcast Episode 87

Mark "Markolino" Dimond

Fallen and forgotten, Markolino Dimond was one of Latin Music's most dynamic pianists. A child prodigy from New York City's East Harlem, he began his 3-year tenure with the legendary Willie Colon when he was a mere 15-years old. 

Growing up in the primarily Latino neighborhood of "El Barrio", Mark's musical abilities with Salsa garnered him attention in part because he had an 'Anglo' surname. It was said that his father was Cuban, nonetheless, when I met Markolino he seemed to be an American who grew up around Boricuas. Being an island boy, I was always tickled by guys like him, who took on affectations of our culture, but Markolino was the real deal. When he played a montuno on the piano, it didn't matter what his last name was, he was an incredibly swingin' dude! 

Funny thing about him was that when I played in a band with him, he never flaunted his career accomplishments. I never knew he had played with Willie Colon and Hector LaVoe and was held in such high regard by the Latin music community. 

The Mark Dimond I knew, from my vantage point, was a brilliant mercurial-minded musician who had endless ideas flowing from his mind but his fingers could reveal a losing battle with heroin. Sometimes he would be completely sober and his playing was fantastic. He had incredible rhythm and he loved classical music-styled embellishments. Other times, sadly, he was like so many flawed heroin-addicted musicians; sloppy, surly attitude and missing in action. 

New York City has always featured prominently in drug culture and back then, before the crack cocaine epidemic, heroin ruled the lives of many inner city kids. When I think of Mark Dimond, I think of how many non-musician, regular kids suffered the same fate in obscurity. Markolino had a gift that separates him still to this day. Even now, you can find music critics who remember him fondly for his brilliance and not his demise.

Intro: Che Che Cole /Willie Colon (featuring Hector LaVoe)

Set One:

1. El Quinto de Beethoven / Markolino Dimond
2. Sonido Bestial / Richie Ray / Homenaje a Jerry Masucci
3. Por Eso / Hector LaVoe / Fania All-Stars / 100% Descargas

Set Two:

1. El Todo Poderoso / Hector LaVoe / La Voz
2. Mi Irmita / Markolino Dimond / Brujeria
3. Yo Soy la Salsa / Richie Ray / Homenaje a Jerry Mascucci

Set Three:

1. The Hustler / Willie Colon / A Man & His Music
2. Paraiso de Dulzura / Hector LaVoe / La Voz
3. Aguardiente /Markolino Dimond / Brujeria
4. Mi Gente / Hector LaVoe / La Voz