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George Duke

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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George Duke Déjà Vu album cover
3.02 | 4 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Melody (4:31)
2. You Touch My Brain (6:23)
3. What Goes Around Comes Around (5:35)
4. Bring Me Joy (4:48)
5. Ripple In Time (6:33)
6. Oh Really? (5:53)
7. 6 O'Clock Revisited (4:27)
8. Come To Me Now (5:50)
9. Stupid Is As Stupid Does (6:42)
10. Déjà Vu (5:06)

Total time 55:48

Line-up / Musicians

George Duke - Keyboards, Vocals, Bass #5
Bass - Michael Manson #1 & 3; Larry Kimpel 2, 8, 9, 10
Guitar - Paul Jackson Jr #1; Jeff Lee Johnson 2, 4 , 5, 6, 9; Ray Fuller 3, 7, 8; Jubu Smith 4
Drums - Ronald Bruner Jr #1, 2, 5, 6, 9, 10; Teddy Campbell #4, 8
Saxophone - Everette Harp (Soprano) #3 (Tenor) 5, 7; Kamasi Washington (Alto) 2; Bob Sheppard (Tenor) 9
Trumpet - Nicholas Payton - #2, 9; Oscar Brashear 5
Violin - Sarah Thornblade #10
Vocals - Terry Dexter, Lynne Fiddmont, Lamont Van Hook, Shannon Pearson #1

Releases information

rtwork: Randall Moses with Bobby Holland (photo)

CD Heads Up International ‎- HUI-32031 (2010, US)

Thanks to snobb for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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GEORGE DUKE Déjà Vu ratings distribution

(4 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (25%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

GEORGE DUKE Déjà Vu reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This few days old release of George Duke is really nice album, but not so easy for reviewing. And the main reason is being a great musical release its music is a bit different from what we expect speaking about progressive jazz fusion.

During his long career George Duke played with Frank Zappa, Billy Cobham and released many of pop-jazz and pop-funk solo albums, between other works. He is really great musician, but his musical direction was often too controversial looking from progressive fusion point of view (similar story has Herbie Hancock and Billy Cobham as well).

From very first sounds of this ,Duke's new album, you will return back to music world of 70-s. Latin jazz, pop-funk, r'n'b and even post-bop elements are played using authentic vintage synth and keyboards, with very 70-s like back-up female vocals, sunny seaside melodies, excellent musicianship. Even airy sound producing comes from 70-s, and most important - it doesn't sound as imitation at all! This music sounds as George Duke returned to his roots and recorded excellent album - not nostalgic, but "real" music album, rooted in 70-s.

Funky rhythms, some winds, tasteful electric guitars, plenty of Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric pianos, some vintage synths sounds, excellent sound mix - what a great music! Yes, looking formally, it is kind of pop-jazz, jazz-funk and vintage r'n'b based fusion, but how nice it sounds! Yes, mostly because it's played by Master.

This release isn't for progressive fusion purists, but if you like great jazzy music, fresh ,but 70-s rooted, played by great musician, with excellent atmosphere - try this album!

P.S. And there is a rare example of melodic and soulful music, which being pop-oriented doesn't sound cheesy.

My rating is 3,5, rounded to 4. Best George Duke album for last decade and more.

Review by J-Man
2 stars Sometimes I really wonder why I still bother with new George Duke releases. Even after being disappointed time and time again by his recent albums, I still bought Déjà Vu right after its release date. With a hazy memory of the disastrous Dukey Treats in my mind, I was hoping that many of the issues there could be solved with Déjà Vu. Although Déjà Vu is a slight improvement over its predecessor, it's still a mediocre album at best. If you are looking for smooth adult contemporary jazz, you'll find a lot of that. If you're looking to hear George Duke's mastery as a jazz fusion keyboard maestro, you'll be sorely disappointed. With the sole exception of a few tracks, this is an hour of boring soul-funk that will make you wonder just where Dukey went wrong. Strangely enough, the good songs on this album (which are very few) are what make this album so disappointing. George Duke has proven that he still knows how to play solid jazz rock - it's more an issue of him choosing to play radio-friendly smooth jazz. There's no doubt that there's an audience for Déjà Vu, but I must say that I'm not part of it.

As previously mentioned the music here is adult contemporary jazz with very few jazz rock tendencies. Compositionally, the songs aren't that enjoyable either, regardless of my own genre preferences. Songs like "Bring Me Joy" and "Come to Me Now" are extremely cringe-worthy, whether it be from the clichéd lyrics, boring instrumentation, or awful radio-friendly vibe. The only songs that are slightly above average are the two closers, "Stupid Is As Stupid Does" and the title track. Unfortunately, waiting 40 minutes to get to those songs is pretty worthless. Despite my lack of affection towards this album, that isn't to say that there's nothing good about it. The musicianship and production are both excellent and professional, but that isn't nessacerily a huge surprise when you consider the product that we're dealing with here. The production is expected to be pretty good on a professional album like this, as is the musicianship from this cast of musicians. The biggest problem here is just that this is over-polished contemporary jazz that is often uninspired and boring. A good production and delivery can't quite change that.

Déjà Vu is yet another disappointing album from George Duke. I keep hoping he'll go back to making great jazz rock, but I guess it's just not meant to be. There's hintings of greatness here, but they are much too few and far between to spend your money on. The only people I would recommend this album to are fans of smooth jazz and George Duke completists. Because the production and musicianship are good, I'll go with a very small 2 stars. If you've been disappointed with other recent George Duke albums, odds are that Déjà Vu won't change your mind.

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