Acclaimed drummer/multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Gregory Hutchinson delivers his debut album Da Bang with much gusto. The 15-track body of work effortlessly blends jazz with hip-hop & R&B and brings together an ensemble cast of notable artists ranging from Leona Berlin, Karriem Riggins, James Poyser, and Samora just to name a few.


“Straight from the Heart” is the perfect opener and pairs vocalist Leona Berlin and legendary jazz/producer/DJ Karriem Riggins. As the title says, it breaks down the why of this project with a soothing and sublime vocal performance by Leona who floats effortlessly over the rousing drum grooves and layered dreamy textures laid before her. She then tops it up with “Gaze at the grace of creation/This is your higher connection” before reminding us once again that this is straight from the heart where it truly matters. On “What’s Best for Us”, Gregory taps the talents of rising singer/songwriter PJ for a punchy aspirational track ripe with head-nodding drum grooves, moody pads and rich guitar licks underpinned by PJ’s emotionally powerful vocal runs that engulf the ears like sweet nothings. PJ’s unapologetic lyrics “I put my best foot forward take it day by day/ I know what I want, It’s my way or the high way” set the stage and show what resilience looks like in the face of adversity. This is followed by “So Confused”  featuring Grammy award-winning vocalist/guitarist Kameron Corvet who shares his candid thoughts over Gregory’s warm and nostalgia-inducing soundscape and the Tim Smith and Kurt Rosenwinkel-assisted “Angels Around”. The track is vibrant with its rich guitar arrangements and dynamic drum grooves and sure changes the feel of the project with its rock-inspired aesthetics.

The rock aesthetic is revisited on “My Turn Now” featuring Kameron Corvet and Living Colour founder Vernon Reid who adds his distinct guitar arrangements to the track. Once more, Kameron shows off his singing chops, weaving R&B stylings with the bravado of rock and a touch of soul into the mix. This is followed by the solemn “Losing You” featuring Leona Berlin which was one of the main singles released earlier. The track is another solid piece that comes with rich piano-laden soundscapes underpinned by Leona’s commanding vocal runs and heartfelt lyricism that dwells on the constant euphoria that comes with falling in love and the fear of losing that special someone. “Last Time We Gonna Polite” features Christian Scott and the result is a thought-provoking and somewhat lighthearted take on racial issues reminding any perpetrator that they might just get this work if they cross that line.

Watch the video for “Losing You” below


“We Got Drumz” brings together avant-garde emcee Javier Starks and award-winning saxophonist/composer/poet/emcee Soweto Kinch and they all deliver the goods. From the rousing drum grooves, bravado raps and fiery performances that would surely get you out of your seats. The project closes out with “When They’re Gone”  featuring vocalist Samora and composer/producer James Poyser (of The Roots )and “Fly Away” featuring Nicholas Payton. The former is a sublime neo-soul love ballad that taps into the essence of the late Dilla with a touch of Madlib with its rich dreamy pads, pulsating bass synths and head-nodding drum drums that blend seamlessly with Samora’s rich sultry vocals while the latter help shut it down on an anthemic note. “Fly Away”  is a cinematic and soul-rousing affair and it’s ripe with layered guitar passes, heavenly horns and an incredible drum solo that would keep listeners locked in from start to finish.


Da Bang as a project lives up to its name and it delivers on many fronts. The vocal performances are excellent and bridge the gap between unorthodox and contemporary stylings while the production quality has so much for us to unpack and the chord changes, transitions and build-ups really push the musical boundaries of this project to the highest levels. Other notable joints one should look out for include  “Blow Your Mind/Let’s Take It Back”  featuring Sy Smith and Javier Starks and “Crazy Games” featuring Leona Berlin.




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