Duncan, who guested on Rachel Grimes’ exquisite The Clearing LP about a year and change ago, is joined by bassist John Goldsby and the guitarist Craig Wagner, who at times seems like he’s angling to steal the show with his pockets of knotted notes and jangly measures. But Duncan remains the real shooting star, with sax leads that seem to suggest their own narratives and short stories, much in the vein of Metheny and Haden stylistically, if not other contemporary jazz outfits like Tin Hat.
The mysterious “Down By Monk’s Pond,” with its rapidly finger picked acoustics underneath soaring wails of sax, is a stand-out, as is the closing “Green Maria,” which takes its time to arrive at its conclusions and sweetens the journey as a result. And Duncan is in top form on tracks like “Warsaw of Ermou,” where his winding refrains match nicely with Wagner’s rhythms and resolutions. The recording can be a little monochromatic but, all in all, Duncan has crafted a solid set to showcase his lungs here.