Signs of Life

“Once Upon a Time”

(Blue Canoe)

Man finds harmony with machine on Rafael Greco’s Blue Canoe debut Signs of Life (Blue Canoe). The Venezuelan saxophonist and vocalist has constructed a unique and highly personal framework within the chilled-out groovescape of the Blue Canoe aesthetic, using rhythms of Caribbean music — from salsa and merengue to joropo and calypso — to prop up a canopy of silky, Milesian synths. “Once Upon a Time,” our selection, takes the amalgamation a step further, pitting a winding, harmonically liberated keyboard solo by Santiago Bosch against a heavily churning montuno. The effect is like a building storm, whose developing center is never entirely predictable. Synth stabs pierce through the clouds and vanish into thin air, while Greco’s voice is the ibis flying calmly amidst the swirling clouds and musical thunder.

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