Greg Duncan Latin Ensemble
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Greg Duncan Latin Ensemble

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE
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Jan
13
Greg Duncan Latin Ensemble @ Websters Wine Bar Chicago

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jul
19
Greg Duncan Latin Ensemble @ Humboldt Park

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jul
17
Greg Duncan Latin Ensemble @ Shedd Aquarium

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

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Music

Press


"Their mainstream approach to standards and Duncan's originals breathe new life into modern jazz...Greg Duncan has unveiled a new force in jazz." Jim Shulstad (Jazz Review.com) - Jazz Review.Com (2007)


"Their mainstream approach to standards and Duncan's originals breathe new life into modern jazz...Greg Duncan has unveiled a new force in jazz." Jim Shulstad (Jazz Review.com) - Jazz Review.Com (2007)


"Over the course of seventy-plus minutes, this disc grooves, swings, bops and just plain rocks out...Duncan's writing is so hip." Paul Abella (Chicago Jazz Magazine) - Chicago Jazz Magazine (2007)


"Over the course of seventy-plus minutes, this disc grooves, swings, bops and just plain rocks out...Duncan's writing is so hip." Paul Abella (Chicago Jazz Magazine) - Chicago Jazz Magazine (2007)


Hace siete años estuvo de gira un año entero con la Glenn Miller Orchestra por Estados Unidos y Japón, figurando como solista y también como compositor de algunos temas de la banda. Justamente es escribir canciones una de las destacadas facetas de Greg Duncan, un trompetista que ha pasado por multitud de bandas en Chicago, incluído un quinteto propio integrado por algunos de los máximos jóvenes talentos de la ‘Windy City’. En conversación telefó-nica con D.S., el trompetista avanzaba anteayer que no ha parado de escribir nuevos temas originales en Barcelona y que esta noche (22.30h) en el ciclo semanal del Griffin (La Segarra, 25) incluirá en su primer concierto en Sabadell un par de estos cortes junto a dos
más de de su aclamado disco de debut, Unveiled (editado por el prestigioso sello OA2) y algunos estándards.Duncan, que llegó a Chicago tras pasar por Washington y Texas, dice de su proyecto musical que engloba un amplio abancio de «diferentes estilos» dentro del jazz contemporá-neo.
Lo suyo no es el ‘swing’, aunque lo haya tocado con la Glenn Miller Orchestra, y su máxima influencia es quizás Terence Blanchard, con el que «me identifico mucho con su música y su estilo. Aunque me gustan todos los grandes trompetistas, claro», apostilla.En el Griffin Greg Duncan estará acompañado de Pau Domènech al clarinete bajo, Marco Mezquida al piano, Juan Pablo Balcazar al contrabajo y Carlos Farlanga a la batería. El uso de clarinete bajo le da sin duda un toque especial al grupo, aunque originalmente la música de Duncan está escrita para saxo. «He escogido algunas que se adaptan más fácilmente al clarinete y también he compuesto otras nuevas». La historia de su desembarco a Barcelona no es especialmente original: tener varios amigos aquí, más las ganas de mejorar su español y el hecho de que «me gusta la cultura española», junto a una necesidad de cambiar de aires, fueron suficiente impulso para «intentar hacer aquí lo mismo que he estado haciendo en
Chicago», resume. Con respecto a la capital de Illinois, Duncan cita algunas «similitudes» con Barcelona: «Hay muchos músicos buenos y grandes bandas, pero no hay lugares suficientes para tocar y... parece que no hay mucho dinero para el jazz». Y añade: «La mayoría de músicos toca en muchas otras cosas, por
ejemplo en las bodas, donde se gana más que en los clubs y donde les piden música Motown o de baile. - Sabadell Daily Newspaper


Hace siete años estuvo de gira un año entero con la Glenn Miller Orchestra por Estados Unidos y Japón, figurando como solista y también como compositor de algunos temas de la banda. Justamente es escribir canciones una de las destacadas facetas de Greg Duncan, un trompetista que ha pasado por multitud de bandas en Chicago, incluído un quinteto propio integrado por algunos de los máximos jóvenes talentos de la ‘Windy City’. En conversación telefó-nica con D.S., el trompetista avanzaba anteayer que no ha parado de escribir nuevos temas originales en Barcelona y que esta noche (22.30h) en el ciclo semanal del Griffin (La Segarra, 25) incluirá en su primer concierto en Sabadell un par de estos cortes junto a dos
más de de su aclamado disco de debut, Unveiled (editado por el prestigioso sello OA2) y algunos estándards.Duncan, que llegó a Chicago tras pasar por Washington y Texas, dice de su proyecto musical que engloba un amplio abancio de «diferentes estilos» dentro del jazz contemporá-neo.
Lo suyo no es el ‘swing’, aunque lo haya tocado con la Glenn Miller Orchestra, y su máxima influencia es quizás Terence Blanchard, con el que «me identifico mucho con su música y su estilo. Aunque me gustan todos los grandes trompetistas, claro», apostilla.En el Griffin Greg Duncan estará acompañado de Pau Domènech al clarinete bajo, Marco Mezquida al piano, Juan Pablo Balcazar al contrabajo y Carlos Farlanga a la batería. El uso de clarinete bajo le da sin duda un toque especial al grupo, aunque originalmente la música de Duncan está escrita para saxo. «He escogido algunas que se adaptan más fácilmente al clarinete y también he compuesto otras nuevas». La historia de su desembarco a Barcelona no es especialmente original: tener varios amigos aquí, más las ganas de mejorar su español y el hecho de que «me gusta la cultura española», junto a una necesidad de cambiar de aires, fueron suficiente impulso para «intentar hacer aquí lo mismo que he estado haciendo en
Chicago», resume. Con respecto a la capital de Illinois, Duncan cita algunas «similitudes» con Barcelona: «Hay muchos músicos buenos y grandes bandas, pero no hay lugares suficientes para tocar y... parece que no hay mucho dinero para el jazz». Y añade: «La mayoría de músicos toca en muchas otras cosas, por
ejemplo en las bodas, donde se gana más que en los clubs y donde les piden música Motown o de baile. - Sabadell Daily Newspaper


La Nova Jazz Cava recibe esta noche a un cuarteto dirigido por el emergente trompetista de Chicago Greg Duncan. Integran la formación los músicos Roger Mas (piano), Juan Pablo Balcazar (contrabajo) y Jo Krause (batería.) La banda que dirige tiene un estilo “entre el hard bop más agresivo y sutiles arreglos más cercanos a la música de cámara”, y “está en plena forma con una mezcla de blues, swing, y incluso temas de flamenco”, se explica en la biografía del artista. Greg Duncan reside en Barcelona desde el año 2009, ciudad a la que llegó después de haber protagonizado una intensa trayectoria en su país natal. A principios de la década se fue de gira con la Glenn Miller Orchestra, visitando escenarios de Estados Unidos y Japón. Su función fue la de solista y compositor de algunos de los temas de la banda. Junto a su grupo en Chicago consiguió ser reconocido como una de las mejores formaciones de la ciudad. El Chicago Jazz Magazine publicó valiosos elogios de su grabación, “Unveiled.” El músico ha ganado recientemente una beca del estado de Illinois para grabar de nuevo con su grupo, y lo hará antes del verano. - Terrassa Daily Newspaper


La Nova Jazz Cava recibe esta noche a un cuarteto dirigido por el emergente trompetista de Chicago Greg Duncan. Integran la formación los músicos Roger Mas (piano), Juan Pablo Balcazar (contrabajo) y Jo Krause (batería.) La banda que dirige tiene un estilo “entre el hard bop más agresivo y sutiles arreglos más cercanos a la música de cámara”, y “está en plena forma con una mezcla de blues, swing, y incluso temas de flamenco”, se explica en la biografía del artista. Greg Duncan reside en Barcelona desde el año 2009, ciudad a la que llegó después de haber protagonizado una intensa trayectoria en su país natal. A principios de la década se fue de gira con la Glenn Miller Orchestra, visitando escenarios de Estados Unidos y Japón. Su función fue la de solista y compositor de algunos de los temas de la banda. Junto a su grupo en Chicago consiguió ser reconocido como una de las mejores formaciones de la ciudad. El Chicago Jazz Magazine publicó valiosos elogios de su grabación, “Unveiled.” El músico ha ganado recientemente una beca del estado de Illinois para grabar de nuevo con su grupo, y lo hará antes del verano. - Terrassa Daily Newspaper


Trumpeter Greg Duncan's Chicago, Barcelona Connections is a spicy dish with duende to spare, but it's not to be mistaken for generic Latin jazz; this is flamenco jazz in a fairly pure form. The Chicago-based horn man experienced his flamenco awakening during a stay in Spain between 2009 and 2010, and the music on Chicago, Barcelona Connections can be seen as an outgrowth of that sojourn.

While Duncan rightly acknowledges the work that piano giant Chick Corea and Latin icon Jerry Gonzalez have done in blending jazz and flamenco music, his own take on these traditions is rooted in the expected, not the pursuit of the new. He wasn't looking to rewrite the book on either genre but, rather, simply honor them both by addressing stylistic norms and standards involved with each area.

Duncan uses his own jazz quintet as the core for this project, but he augmented the band by adding cajon player Javier Saume and vocalist Patricia Ortega. Both musicians prove to be key in bridging the stylistic gap between the jazz and flamenco worlds. Saume is more of a significant and constant presence, but Ortega makes her appearances count. She ups the charm and allure quotient on "Correveidile/Run And Go Tell" and adds to the excitement of "La Tumbona."

Flamenco's various states and forms provide a wide berth for Duncan to navigate, but he sticks to five of the most popular types of flamenco music—rumba, tangos, tanguillos, bulerias and sevillana. He clearly indicates which songs belong to which flamenco species on the back of the CD, but it's not necessary to know that "Reality Versus Myth" belongs under the bulerias heading, for example, to appreciate the music's Corea-like drive and energy.

Duncan's charming, clear-toned horn work is at the heart of everything on this album, but his quintet mates earn their keep and draw some well-deserved attention. Corbin Andrick's bright alto saxophone acts as a foil for Duncan, while drummer Jon Deitemyer deftly blends his propulsive grooves with Saume's handy cajon work. Bassist Patrick Mulcahy proves to be the breakout star of the bunch, providing fusion- friendly electric work ("La Tumbona"), propulsive acoustic riffs ("Reality Versus Myth"), and refined arco lines ("Romance Anonimo"), while pianist Stuart Mindeman serves as the best jazz-flamenco go-between in the band.

Chicago Barcelona Connections is a tale of two cities and two styles, but it's built around one man's clear-eyed view of what they share and how they're connected; Chicago and Barcelona, it would seem, aren't that far apart after all.

Track Listing: De Camino; Procedencia; La Tumbona; Poinciana; Correveidile/Run And Go Tell; Straighten Up; Reality Versus Myth; Romance Anonimo; Spanish Life.

Personnel: Greg Duncan: trumpet, flugelhorn, palmas; Corbin Andrick: alto saxophone, tenor saxophone; Stuart Mindeman: piano, Fender Rhodes; Jon Deitemyer: drums, percussion; Patrick Mulcahy: acoustic bass, electric bass; Javier Saume: cajon; Patricia Ortega: vocals, palmas.
- All About Jazz


Trumpeter Greg Duncan's Chicago, Barcelona Connections is a spicy dish with duende to spare, but it's not to be mistaken for generic Latin jazz; this is flamenco jazz in a fairly pure form. The Chicago-based horn man experienced his flamenco awakening during a stay in Spain between 2009 and 2010, and the music on Chicago, Barcelona Connections can be seen as an outgrowth of that sojourn.

While Duncan rightly acknowledges the work that piano giant Chick Corea and Latin icon Jerry Gonzalez have done in blending jazz and flamenco music, his own take on these traditions is rooted in the expected, not the pursuit of the new. He wasn't looking to rewrite the book on either genre but, rather, simply honor them both by addressing stylistic norms and standards involved with each area.

Duncan uses his own jazz quintet as the core for this project, but he augmented the band by adding cajon player Javier Saume and vocalist Patricia Ortega. Both musicians prove to be key in bridging the stylistic gap between the jazz and flamenco worlds. Saume is more of a significant and constant presence, but Ortega makes her appearances count. She ups the charm and allure quotient on "Correveidile/Run And Go Tell" and adds to the excitement of "La Tumbona."

Flamenco's various states and forms provide a wide berth for Duncan to navigate, but he sticks to five of the most popular types of flamenco music—rumba, tangos, tanguillos, bulerias and sevillana. He clearly indicates which songs belong to which flamenco species on the back of the CD, but it's not necessary to know that "Reality Versus Myth" belongs under the bulerias heading, for example, to appreciate the music's Corea-like drive and energy.

Duncan's charming, clear-toned horn work is at the heart of everything on this album, but his quintet mates earn their keep and draw some well-deserved attention. Corbin Andrick's bright alto saxophone acts as a foil for Duncan, while drummer Jon Deitemyer deftly blends his propulsive grooves with Saume's handy cajon work. Bassist Patrick Mulcahy proves to be the breakout star of the bunch, providing fusion- friendly electric work ("La Tumbona"), propulsive acoustic riffs ("Reality Versus Myth"), and refined arco lines ("Romance Anonimo"), while pianist Stuart Mindeman serves as the best jazz-flamenco go-between in the band.

Chicago Barcelona Connections is a tale of two cities and two styles, but it's built around one man's clear-eyed view of what they share and how they're connected; Chicago and Barcelona, it would seem, aren't that far apart after all.

Track Listing: De Camino; Procedencia; La Tumbona; Poinciana; Correveidile/Run And Go Tell; Straighten Up; Reality Versus Myth; Romance Anonimo; Spanish Life.

Personnel: Greg Duncan: trumpet, flugelhorn, palmas; Corbin Andrick: alto saxophone, tenor saxophone; Stuart Mindeman: piano, Fender Rhodes; Jon Deitemyer: drums, percussion; Patrick Mulcahy: acoustic bass, electric bass; Javier Saume: cajon; Patricia Ortega: vocals, palmas.
- All About Jazz


The Chicago-based trumpeter Greg Duncan spent 2009 and 2010 in Spain, where he immersed himself in all things flamenco, and Flamenco Jazz in particular, a combination that has been explored by the likes of Chick Corea, Michel Camilo, Jerry Gonzalez, Chano Dominguez, Paco de Lucia, Miles Davis with and without Gil Evans, and even John Coltrane (Olé). Out of Duncan's experience in Spain came the idea for this project, which came to fruition with the help of a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. Duncan has stated that he "wanted to show that Flamenco Jazz is different than Latin Jazz and can be used to enhance Jazz Music by utilizing the great rhythmic and melodic traditions from Spain," and "wanted to take a more traditional approach between the two and really focus on presenting an authentic representation of the material not just from a technical perspective, but also from a cultural perspective."

The results are far from academic or studied, for the music is uninhibited, unpretentious, naturally flowing, and full of incisive improvisations. Duncan's arrangements (plus one by Dominguez) are brought to life by a group of Chicago musicians that includes, besides the leader's trumpet and flugelhorn, saxophonist Corbin Andrick, keyboardist Stuart Mindeman, bassist Patrick Mulcahy, drummer Jon Deitemyer, cajón player Javier Saume, and vocalist Patricia Ortega. Five of the more popular flamenco rhythms were chosen by Duncan, namely tango, rumba, bulerías ("2 bar rhythmic sequence felt more in 3, 6, or 12"), tanguillos ("a combination of 2 over 3 where it's felt in 3 but has cross accents"), and sevillana ("a popular dance form in Spain felt as a fast 3").

Spanish saxophonist Perico Sambeat's "De Camino" is performed as a rumba, with Duncan playing the lightly dancing theme and then adding bite and swagger in his fervent solo. Mindeman's comping is focused and salutary and his own improv is a spirited Latin-tinged romp. Mulcahy, Deitemyer, and Saume keep the infectious rhythm percolating. Duncan's "Procedencia" finds the composer blending with Andick's tenor on the tender theme, with the rhythm section heartily establishing a bulerías pulse. The trumpeter's solo soars in energetic rapture, and Mulcahy follows with lyrically enticing momentum. Mindeman's piano is sterling throughout, and Deitemyer and Saume make quite a complementary team percussively. The tanguillos rhythm used for Nat Simon's "Poinciana" seems not far from that heard on Ahmad Jamal's famous version. Andrick's alto caresses the melody and the changes in his well-crafted, captivating solo, and Mindeman's improv is laden with darting arpeggios. Saume's tasteful cajón accents are especially noticeable and enriching on this track.

"Correveidile (Run and Go Tell)" is by the Spanish flamenco fusion group Ojos de Brujo, and features Ortega's emotionally charged vocals, Duncan's robust trumpet, Andrick's twirling alto, and Mindeman's lucid piano, all help to make this arrangement a bracing success. The interplay between Saume, Mulcahy, and Deitemyer serves as both a springboard and flotation device for the soloists. Paco de Lucia's "La Tumbona" is elevated by a wonderful arrangement by Dominguez, a scintillating mixture of tango and flamenco. Andrick's silky, undulating alto reminds one of Miguel Zenón, and Ortega's passionate vocals are high points. Mindeman and Duncan on flugelhorn skillfully stay true to form, and the spicy rhythms are hard to resist. While described as a tango, the impulse and rhythmic drive of Duncan's "Straighten Up" is more post bop orientated in the initial theme introduction and its amplification by the leader and Andrick on tenor. A tango beat does appear for the reprise and subsequent demonstrative flight by Duncan. For Mindeman's surging statement, however, and the final ensemble summation, a more undiluted jazz feel prevails once again.

The rhythm section produces another tantalizing bulerías backdrop for Duncan's "Reality versus Myth," over which trumpet and alto enunciate the beseeching melody. Mindeman's radiant Fender Rhodes furnishes contrasting texture beneath the emphatic bass, trumpet, and alto solos that ensue. Duncan's arrangement, with its counterpoint, fills, and vamps is exceptional, as is Saume's heated cajón workout at the close. The traditional "Romance Anonimo," in the sevillana format, is launched by Mulcahy's mournful arco bass that precedes the perky, swaying theme - Jazz Times


The Chicago-based trumpeter Greg Duncan spent 2009 and 2010 in Spain, where he immersed himself in all things flamenco, and Flamenco Jazz in particular, a combination that has been explored by the likes of Chick Corea, Michel Camilo, Jerry Gonzalez, Chano Dominguez, Paco de Lucia, Miles Davis with and without Gil Evans, and even John Coltrane (Olé). Out of Duncan's experience in Spain came the idea for this project, which came to fruition with the help of a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. Duncan has stated that he "wanted to show that Flamenco Jazz is different than Latin Jazz and can be used to enhance Jazz Music by utilizing the great rhythmic and melodic traditions from Spain," and "wanted to take a more traditional approach between the two and really focus on presenting an authentic representation of the material not just from a technical perspective, but also from a cultural perspective."

The results are far from academic or studied, for the music is uninhibited, unpretentious, naturally flowing, and full of incisive improvisations. Duncan's arrangements (plus one by Dominguez) are brought to life by a group of Chicago musicians that includes, besides the leader's trumpet and flugelhorn, saxophonist Corbin Andrick, keyboardist Stuart Mindeman, bassist Patrick Mulcahy, drummer Jon Deitemyer, cajón player Javier Saume, and vocalist Patricia Ortega. Five of the more popular flamenco rhythms were chosen by Duncan, namely tango, rumba, bulerías ("2 bar rhythmic sequence felt more in 3, 6, or 12"), tanguillos ("a combination of 2 over 3 where it's felt in 3 but has cross accents"), and sevillana ("a popular dance form in Spain felt as a fast 3").

Spanish saxophonist Perico Sambeat's "De Camino" is performed as a rumba, with Duncan playing the lightly dancing theme and then adding bite and swagger in his fervent solo. Mindeman's comping is focused and salutary and his own improv is a spirited Latin-tinged romp. Mulcahy, Deitemyer, and Saume keep the infectious rhythm percolating. Duncan's "Procedencia" finds the composer blending with Andick's tenor on the tender theme, with the rhythm section heartily establishing a bulerías pulse. The trumpeter's solo soars in energetic rapture, and Mulcahy follows with lyrically enticing momentum. Mindeman's piano is sterling throughout, and Deitemyer and Saume make quite a complementary team percussively. The tanguillos rhythm used for Nat Simon's "Poinciana" seems not far from that heard on Ahmad Jamal's famous version. Andrick's alto caresses the melody and the changes in his well-crafted, captivating solo, and Mindeman's improv is laden with darting arpeggios. Saume's tasteful cajón accents are especially noticeable and enriching on this track.

"Correveidile (Run and Go Tell)" is by the Spanish flamenco fusion group Ojos de Brujo, and features Ortega's emotionally charged vocals, Duncan's robust trumpet, Andrick's twirling alto, and Mindeman's lucid piano, all help to make this arrangement a bracing success. The interplay between Saume, Mulcahy, and Deitemyer serves as both a springboard and flotation device for the soloists. Paco de Lucia's "La Tumbona" is elevated by a wonderful arrangement by Dominguez, a scintillating mixture of tango and flamenco. Andrick's silky, undulating alto reminds one of Miguel Zenón, and Ortega's passionate vocals are high points. Mindeman and Duncan on flugelhorn skillfully stay true to form, and the spicy rhythms are hard to resist. While described as a tango, the impulse and rhythmic drive of Duncan's "Straighten Up" is more post bop orientated in the initial theme introduction and its amplification by the leader and Andrick on tenor. A tango beat does appear for the reprise and subsequent demonstrative flight by Duncan. For Mindeman's surging statement, however, and the final ensemble summation, a more undiluted jazz feel prevails once again.

The rhythm section produces another tantalizing bulerías backdrop for Duncan's "Reality versus Myth," over which trumpet and alto enunciate the beseeching melody. Mindeman's radiant Fender Rhodes furnishes contrasting texture beneath the emphatic bass, trumpet, and alto solos that ensue. Duncan's arrangement, with its counterpoint, fills, and vamps is exceptional, as is Saume's heated cajón workout at the close. The traditional "Romance Anonimo," in the sevillana format, is launched by Mulcahy's mournful arco bass that precedes the perky, swaying theme - Jazz Times


Chicagoan Greg Duncan’s fascination with
flamenco took him to Spain for two years, and
fuels Chicago, Barcelona Connections (New
Origins 001; 62:10 / 3 stars). At its root, flamenco
is rhythmic music, which fits well with Dun-
can’s crisp, post-bop approach. Singer Patri-
cia Ortega adds authenticity, but somewhere
in the cross-Atlantic marriage, the essential
heat of flamenco was lost. The core quintet
sounds a bit constrained, as though it is step-
ping cautiously, and the rhythm section seems
overly stiff on “Poinciana” and elsewhere. - Downbeat


Chicagoan Greg Duncan’s fascination with
flamenco took him to Spain for two years, and
fuels Chicago, Barcelona Connections (New
Origins 001; 62:10 / 3 stars). At its root, flamenco
is rhythmic music, which fits well with Dun-
can’s crisp, post-bop approach. Singer Patri-
cia Ortega adds authenticity, but somewhere
in the cross-Atlantic marriage, the essential
heat of flamenco was lost. The core quintet
sounds a bit constrained, as though it is step-
ping cautiously, and the rhythm section seems
overly stiff on “Poinciana” and elsewhere. - Downbeat


Discography

Chicago Barcelona Connections -- New Origins Records (2012)

Unveiled -- OA2 Records (2007)

Photos

Bio

Jazz trumpet player Greg Duncan started working in the music industry by touring all over North America on cruise ships and in Broadway musicals. In 2001 he earned his Masters Degree in Music from the well respected University of North Texas. The following year he was back on the road touring the United States and Japan with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, where he was a featured composer/arranger as well as featured soloist.

Duncan currently plays and teaches in Chicago and performs often in Spain. His quintet plays contemporary straight-ahead jazz, featuring some of the best jazz talent in the city. They recorded their debut CD ("Unveiled") in 2006 on OA2 Records and Duncan won a grant from the Illinois Arts Council in 2012 to record again. Their CD "Chicago, Barcelona Connections" mixes jazz with traditional flamenco and latin music. It was featured in Downbeat and received lots of radio play throughout the country. They will be performing at the 2013 Chicago Latin Jazz Fest.

Band Members