ALBUM REVIEW by Scott Yanow
Mario Dueñas who was raised in Ecuador and is based in Chicago, made his recording debut as a leader on his Beliefs album. That fascinating work, which consisted of six spontaneous and unaccompanied electric piano solos, was inspired by Dueñas’ philosophy, seeking to know about reality rather than merely believing what one is told.
“Cosmic Crossword” is an unusual and haunting performance that expands upon the concept of Beliefs. Mario Dueñas performs the spontaneous 12-minute composition utilizing his electric piano, oscillators and a variety of percussion including meditation bells. Starting out with a mysterious feel that conjures up the image of outer space, the piece evolves gradually, develops some patterns that appear and disappear in an organic fashion, and includes plenty of unusual sounds while always remaining a bit laidback. It is more easily experienced and enjoyed than described. Suffice it to say that the music is never predictable.
“Cosmic Crossword” is a trip well worth experiencing.
– Scott Yanow, jazz journalist/historian and author of 11 books including The Great Jazz Guitarists and Jazz On Record 1917-76
Recorded in Aurora, USA