Gregory Hutchinson is a legendary and highly regarded musician who has worked with the greats. Be it jazz, hip hop, RnB or neo-soul, Gregory has been involved in some major projects. Now it’s time for him to step into the limelight thanks to his debut solo album, all about connection. It’s called Da Bang.
By Graeme Smith
For this album, Gregory is not alone, though. Across its fifteen tracks is a dizzying list of collaborators, including Karriem Riggins, James Poyser, Ray Angry, Nicholas Peyton, Kurt Rosenwinkle. Leona Berlin, Vernon Reid and Sy Smith to name but a few. If you’re a fan of jazz or hip hop, then this is the must listen album of the year.
It opens with Straight From The Heart featuring Leona Berlin and Karriem Riggins. Smooth hip hop is the order of the day with prominent percussion and laidback, charismatic vocals. Sweeping and soulful moments provide texture and there is a beautiful mix of throwback and modern elements. You can tell straight away that you’re in for something special.
What’s Best For Us features the characterful vocals of PJ and gives us some offbeat and experimental RnB. So Confused is a smouldering and searching track that’s augmented by the vocals of Kameron Corvet. Angels Around is rich and jazzy before Crazy Games rounds off first part of the album with intimate drums and the passionate vocals of Leona Berlin. It’s a highlight.
N………..az is a short skit that showcases Gregory’s expert drumming before My Turn livens things up with some epic prog rock jazz. Losing You is sultry and melancholic RnB. Last Time We Gonna Be Polite, featuring Christian Scott, opens with urgency before reaching a bombastic jazz and hip hop arrangement and a hard-hitting lyrical story. It’s another highlight.
New Dawn is somewhat lighter with the ethereal vocals of Liselotte Östblom poured over gentle percussion. Blow Your Mind / Let’s Take It Back introduces some sensuality and nostalgia to proceedings before we get another skit, this time called Sugar Bang Bang.
We Got Drumz opens the final leg of the album in an explosive style and includes the input from Javier Starks and Soweto Kinch. When They’re Gone has a dark and reflective groove with is tempered by the delicate vocals of Samora before Fly Away, featuring Nicholas Payton, closes the album with some vibrant acid jazz. It’s a final highlight.
You can give Da Bang a listen below.