Chicago-based artist and songwriter Daniel Cronson offers a smooth and soulful approach to music and performance in his own right, this latest release though sees him collaborate for what seems like a match made in heaven. Rapper and percussionist Kehinde helps light up Grand Visions with unexpected yet brilliantly entrancing dynamic, allowing an already impressive song to shine all the more brightly as it pours through.
Cronson and Kehinde met in a street performance setting and began jamming together soon afterwards. The simple magic of the sound can be heard with ease on this release, but still it’s likely that this is merely the beginning.
Grand Visions brings about a mellow and fairly spacious jazz soundscape – an acoustic guitar riff and a nineties-style beat, a few notes from the piano, a riding bass-line. Within all of this, Cronson’s equally laid-back yet lightly raspy and emotionally warm leading voice presents a simple melody-line that rises up just slightly before falling back down for each line. In the same instance, the scene is set – the details and the story-line seem to contrast with the chilled-out aura of the music, but this only makes you love the song even more so.
Kehinde’s feature on this track comes in a little later on – the rap delivery is appropriately calm and just as reflective and self-aware as everything from before. In this case you actually get a more lyrically dense outpouring – the sort that begs for a second and third listen; just to make sure you caught it all.
There’s a definite sense of unity between the two artists, but there’s also an effective level of contrast between their individual styles and sounds. This balance works beautifully. Grand Visions feels like a timeless classic, inspiring and honest, blissfully crisp and colourful – a pleasure to have fill the room. Hopefully there’s a longer playlist on the way.