A Decade With Duke is a collaborative effort involving Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver) and Eau Claire Memorial Jazz 1, which, correct me if I'm wrong, is a Wisconsin-based high school jazz band. Justin Vernon was a student of this program while in high school...it's all coming together now. It's hard to believe 16-18 year old kids can be this talented, but they don't fail to deliver. It starts with "Lump Sum", a Bon Iver original, which holds true to its minimalist composition while still being different enough to be it's own interpretation of the song (and a good one at that). The album takes a jazzy turn, opening in track two with a perfectly lazy saxophone melody giving you the impression that you just walked into a 1940's jazz club...you know...the kind that always has a sassy woman laying on a piano. The band plays a few more, then goes on to play a jazz-infused version of "For Emma". No description of this song will do it justice, just go listen to it. All of these feature the lovely falsetto that Justin Vernon is known for. Lady is a Tramp pays tribute to a show to from the 30's, complete with Justin Vernon sounding EXACTLY like Frank Sinatra. It's almost awkward for a minute, listening to him sing in his normal voice but it is 100% worth a listen. This is probably my favorite song on the album. Vernon takes over on the last song, bringing it down a notch with "Satisfied Mind".
In its entirety, this album is a good combination of modern folk and jazz and if you don't listen to this, you are missing out. If you are a Bon Iver fan, a jazz fan, or a just a fan of ridiculously good music, you will give this a listen. Actually, no, go buy it. It's only $7.92 on iTunes.
A Decade with Duke gets 9 out of 10 apples.