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Pianist Mario Dueñas' new album "Beliefs" is a personal, spiritual work
(Published: February 03, 2016)

Pianist Mario Dueñas' debut album Beliefs is not so much a jazz album as it is a very personal and transcendental work of musical art.

Beliefs is the fruit of Dueñas' years of deep study of the art of improvisational approach to music, inspired by the improv stylings of Bill Evans and John Coltrane. The six tracks contained in the album cannot be judged by just their first minutes, as each song goes through so many emotions, cheerful and vibrant one minute, uneasy and foreboding the next, that you won't know where you stand when the song ends.

And it's during those moments that Dueñas' impressive improvisational skills are in full display. The album opens with "Part I: God," a soothing yet powerful piece where Dueñas' firm keystrokes demand audience from a higher power, with the tone becoming bold and spiritual as he gets an answer back. Dueñas opts for the electronic solo piano in this album instead of the classical, without any accompaniments whatsoever, but the sound feels welcoming and natural than synthetic, which only highlights the level of skill and passion Dueñas brings into every song.

The next few tracks offer a little bit of something for everyone. "Part III: Time" makes use of its 9 and a half minutes (the longest track in the album) to deliver an experimental ride. "Part IV: Love" is a thoughtful romantic melody that wouldn't sound out of place in an album of love songs, while "Part V: Free Will" is aptly named, as Dueñas adopts a more manic and energetic rhythm, as if celebrating release from the shackles of the routine.

The final track, "Part VI: Afterlife," is a standout from the rest of the album. Its somber yet hopeful melody makes one think about what's on the other side of this life, while leaving you with at least a positive message as the song, and in the effect the album, ends on a literal high note.

With Beliefs, Dueñas dares us to think outside the norm, to leave the comfort of the familiar and be carried to the realm of the spiritual. There are lots of things to enjoy from this album, if one only opens his mind to do so.

More Information: http://marioduenasmusic.com

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