REVIEW: Greg Duncan’s “Chicago, Barcelona Connections”

Photobucket My interpretations of jazz music initially came from listening and enjoying it on the surface, for what it is. Then it leads to learning about it, and that leads to life’s experiences. Greg Duncan understands this, and could easily make a recording that means absolutely nothing. Making good music is about going on an excursion and insuring the listener that everyone will get back in one piece. At least this is how I interpret what’s going on with Chicago, Barcelona Connections (New Origins).

This album, as the title suggests, merges the jazz and blues of Chicago and brings it to Spain as a means to highlight the possible interaction between friends, influences and sound. It brings together the chaos that the large cities can provide, but also the ease and richness of the places that people outside of these cities aren’t aware of, to show how yin and yang can and should live together as one. Duncan (who alternates between trumpet and flugelhorn on the album) is not alone in this mission, for he brings Jon Deitemyer (drums), Javier Sauma (cajon), Patrick Mulcahy (acoustic and electric bass), Corbin Andrick (saxophones), Stuart Mindeman (piano and Fender Rhodes), and Patricia Ortega (vocals), the latter who offers her voice to the album’s sole vocal track, “Correveidile/Run And Go Tell”. Even though the music at times has an indoor feel, it’s the kind of music you’d like to hear in an outdoor setting, whether at a concert or festival, a patio, or as you’re having sex on railroad tracks. You want it and the music to last, so you may want to hold, grip, and pinch before it reaches the album’s conclusion, “Spanish Life”, a ballad that will take the listener over the edge and make you feel Duncan’s musical passion all over your face. A connection will be made, be it betweeen Chicago and Barcelona, or whatever territorial combinations you wish for it to be. Waipahu, Wapato, do what you must but if you do, opt to do it with Greg Duncan in the air.

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