Returning eventually to the UK music scene he worked as a session keyboard player, in particular with artists such as soul-singer Geno Washington and others on Paul Weller’s Respond label. This growing involvement in the UK pop scene led to Duncan forming a vocal/keyboards pop-duo called Blue Mercedes in the late-eighties, and signing to MCA Records. The group’s greatest success was a number-one Billboard dance-chart hit for five weeks, which also did well in the UK national pop-chart.
Later, Duncan moved into pure dance music with a string of club hits, produced and written by him but released under different artist names, including Exoterix which had UK chart hits on Positiva and Union/Virgin Records. He also continued duties as a session-keyboardist with a number of dance-oriented producers including Frankie Foncett and Paul Gotel, and his playing can be heard on releases by Larry Heard, Monie Love and Nu Colours. Projects as producer and co-producer came along as well, with tracks for Diana Brown and Roberts Owens, among others.
Duncan’s interest in the jazz/acid-jazz sphere continued to be strong, however, and he wrote and produced a single, mixing samples and beats with live playing under the name “A-One”. The track, called “West By South West”, was released by WOW Records in Notting Hill, and became a hit on the acid-jazz club scene in London, also winning single-of the-week accolades in the music-press.
Other tracks evolved over time and A-One eventually moved from WOW to Indochina Records, finally releasing an album called “Free Association”. Tracks from the album were also included on U.S. compilation albums, including several from labels such as Instinct, NYC, and Moonshine, LA, and also on the UK Streetjazz series.
This led to Duncan signing a solo album deal with Instinct Records, NYC, and his album-release Dream Your Dream in August 1998. The album-single “Little Ray Of Sunshine” made it into the U.S. Smooth Jazz Charts and the title-track “Dream Your Dream” was also heavily play-listed on Jazz FM in the UK, along with other tracks. As a result of this album, Duncan also received a nomination as Best UK Jazz Act in the prestigious MOBO music-industry awards held in London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Duncan released a second album, Good To Go, on Instinct in June 2001, with several tracks also receiving steady air-play and continuing to do so. His tracks also appeared on the majority of numerous Instinct smooth-jazz compilations such as Smooth Jazz Radio Hits, The Best of Smooth Jazz Blues and Bossa Brava Caliente. Passion Jazz Records in London also released a compilation, Comin’ Thru’, of tracks from both albums in March 2002, and Duncan played a number of UK gigs to support this, including at the Jazz Café, London.
Now, after an over-long sabbatical, Duncan has re-emerged with a new album, “Fresh Air”. Fresh, because the piano-focused tracks reflect new-found musical influences. Also, because in a changed musical-world, Duncan has forged fresh ways of working, such as self-producing his album on new boutique label Warmday Records.
Duncan returns with ten enticing new tracks. Filled out by a full band comprising some of London’s leading jazz and funk musicians, including sax and trumpet, the keyboard-led melodies take you on a journey through a range of sensuous moods and grooves, ranging from funk to slow-samba to jazz-waltz.