|"DUKE" - gEORGE dUKE
by Craig Chapman
Ladies and gentlemen, once again it’s
time for the “Duke”, George Duke that is.
The legendary keyboardist, vocalist,
songwriter, and producer, who recently
released his latest album on BPM Records
As expected, “Duke” is the usual fine
collection of songs, ranging from funky, to
pop, to down right silky smooth.
We have become accustomed to musical diversity from this master,
and George doesn’t disappoint.
The opening track “Trust” is a hard driving jam that features some
fancy keyboard playing, that keeps the groove funky and tight. “T-
Jam” continues the intensity, and is one of the better songs on the
CD. It’s a hot all-star session featuring his friends Hubert Laws,
Sheila E, Christian McBride, along with Oscar Brashear taking turns on
Besides Quincy Jones, Mr. Duke is probably the best at bringing
together world-class musicians and getting them to check their egos
at the door for the sake of the music. Stevie Wonder’s “Superwoman”
is given the Duke treatment, transforming the ballad into a melodic
mid-tempo piece, which has Eric Benet resurfacing to handle the vocal
chores. On “Hybrids”, Airto, Gerald Albright, and Everette Harp join
the cast for an 18 minute journey that conjures up memories of early
Weather Report, or Miles Davies during his electric era.
”Saturday Night” and “No One” featuring Rachelle Ferrell, are a
couple of tunes, with that classic George Duke sound. Just what you
need when it’s time to wind down and get serious. It wouldn’t be a
George Duke production if world rhythms weren’t in the spotlight. The
Latin sounds of “Sausalito”, and the African rhythms of “Homeland”
are his latest international flavored compositions.
As a bonus, there’s also a DVD that contains excerpts from his live
concert in Tokyo, circa 1983. Needless to say, the band jams!
It’s all about “Duke”, the new CD, with bonus DVD, from one of our
overlooked treasures, George Duke
To learn more about this music legend, visit: www,georgeduke.com