Sometimes an artist needs a little break between albums. Some time to recover from the emotionally draining record release process. Some time to write new songs. Some time to meet new collaborators, etc. For Kingsley Durant that break has been 16 long years! But fortunately, it seems that the wait was certainly worth it with his latest release Point Of Reference.
It all started for the talented musician at a young age. Kingsley Durant comes from a family full of musical talent, including 4 brothers that play. It goes even deeper with the Durant clan claiming violinists, pianists, classical singers, organists, horn players, and guitarists among its ranks. Influence was abundant and Kingsley was exposed to everything from classical music to 60’s Brit rock to Jazz. The guitars always stood out and the passion was set for his focus to be on perfecting the instrument.
A career in education was to support most of his adult life. Kingsley Durant went on to a PhD in Mathematics and went on to teach the subject to middle schoolers to college students. Math and Guitar always seem to go together. The musical passion never waned culminating in his 2003 release of Away From The Water.
After the long wait, Kingsley Durant has returned with a new record Point of Reference to open up 2020. This album is quite the advancement from his acoustic guitar roots. To round out the sound Durant brought in some of the best talent floating around the Boston music scene. Familiar names such as Steve Hunt (keyboards), Baron Browne (bass), and Vinny Sabatino (drums). Kingsley’s brother, Jon Durant, produced the album as well.
The opener “Slanky” starts the album off with a tone that settles the listener in for an experience. The guitar lights the fire with impressive licks as the rhythm section lays down a powerful groove. The range of the band is flexed on “Bay Of Funky”. This ride is only getting started and the funk is here to put that pep in your step. The energy is intoxicating.
Kingsley Durant Shows Of His Flexibility
We go down the road to more of a Bluesy shuffle on “Bloomfield”. The guitar tone jumped out at me right away. So smooth and sultry while popping out of the speakers. Kingsley Durant has become quite the expert with the instrument. The keys of Steve Hunt show up beautifully in this one as well.
More range flexing comes in with the ballad influenced “Ancestral Shadows”. There is a true beauty to the more relaxed track that builds off of a mellow melody and lets the full sound of all the instruments blend together for one complete piece of work. The guitars of Kingsley Durant still remain the focus but there is more room to play here.
The 10 -track instrumental album comes to a close with the longest song. At over 7 minutes, “Never The ‘Twain” takes its time painting a picture. Relaxed tones let the listener come away from the record with a clearer state of mind. Don’t let that fool you into thinking that there will not be some excellent guitar and piano licks placed just right to keep your interest peaked as the song glides into your memory.
Set aside the time to absorb the full album in one sitting and your mind and body will leave in a much better place. As I mentioned, it is a full experience.
Keep up with more on Kingsley Durant and his music on his WEBSITE.