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GEORGE DUKE

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States


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George Duke biography
George Duke was born in San Rafael, California. When he was just four years old, his mother took him to see Duke Ellington in concert. I don't remember it too well, says George, but my mother told me I went crazy. I ran around saying 'Get me a piano, get me a piano!' He began his piano studies at age seven, absorbing the roots of Black music in his local Baptist church. That's where I first began to play funky. I really learned a lot about music from the church. I saw how music could trigger emotions in a cause-and-effect relationship.

By the age of sixteen, George had played with a number of high school jazz groups. He was heavily influenced by Miles Davis and the soul-jazz sound of Les McCann and Cal Tjader. Attending the San Francisco Conservatory Of Music and majoring in trombone and composition with a minor in contrabass, he received his Bachelor of Music degree in 1967.

George with Al Jarreau formed a group which became the house band at San Francisco's Half Note Club. George later received a Masters Degree in composition from San Francisco State University and briefly taught a course on Jazz And American Culture at Merritt Junior College in Oakland. It was about this time that George began to release a series of jazz albums on the MPS label.

One night, on a local jazz station, George heard a record by the violinist Jean-Luc Ponty. When he found out that Jean-Luc was coming to California to record, he sent a tape to Dick Bock at World-Pacific Records, along with a note saying There is no other pianist for this guy but me. From those sessions The George Duke Trio was born. They toured Europe and played at The Newport Jazz Festival.

The group's first gig in a rock-oriented venue came in early 1969. In attendance were Cannonball Adderly, Quincy Jones, Frank Zappa, and the unexpected presence of an electric, rather than acoustic, piano on-stage. The Ponty -Duke performance wowed the crowd, and ushered in the West Coast counterpart of the Eastern fusion revolution sparked by Miles Davis, The Mahavishnu Orchestra and Weather Report. Before '69 was out, George joined Frank Zappa (as he put together a new Mothers Of Invention line up) and toured for an entire year. He appeared on a number of Zappa's albums in the early and mid-1970s, including Chunga's Revenge, 200 Motels, Waka/Jawaka, The Grand Wazoo, Apostrophe,Over-Nite Sensation, One Size Fits All, Bongo Fury and Roxy & Elsewhere.

At the end of 1970, George Duke receive...
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FeelFeel
Remastered
Verve 2008
Audio CD$5.74
$6.01 (used)
George Duke: Greatest HitsGeorge Duke: Greatest Hits
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2008
Audio CD$2.97
$2.96 (used)
Night After NightNight After Night
Elektra
Audio CD$29.98
$0.49 (used)
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George Duke-Dream On, 1982. Great Condition Vinyl LP USD $1.99 [1 bids]
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*listen* GEORGE DUKE - BRAZILIAN LOVE AFFAIR 12" KILLER JAZZ FUNK 1980 EX+ USD $7.76 Buy It Now
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The Billy Cobham George Duke Band Live On Tour In Europe Japan Import CD Box120 USD $7.99 Buy It Now 22m 51s
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George Duke - Love Can Be So Cold PROMO CD SINGLE R&B SOUL JAZZ 1995 ILLUSIONS USD $3.99 [0 bids]
3h 27m
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George Duke "Don't Let Go" USD $12.99 Buy It Now 5h 39m
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George Duke : After Hours CD (1998) USD $3.96 Buy It Now 12h 53m
RECORD - "DON'T LET GO" by GEORGE DUKE. 1978 USD $4.00 Buy It Now 14h 9m
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331/3 RECORD " FOLLOW THE RAINBOW ", by GEORGE DUKE. 1979. ** USD $5.56 Buy It Now 14h 12m
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14h 23m
Stanley Clarke / George Duke  The Clarke / Duke Project  LP Epic USD $4.99 [0 bids]
15h 21m
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15h 47m
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GEORGE DUKE 7" vinyl record THIEF IN THE NIGHT USD $6.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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GEORGE DUKE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

GEORGE DUKE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
The George Duke Quartet Presented By The Jazz Workshop 1966 Of San Francisco
1966
2.02 | 4 ratings
Save The Country
1969
3.00 | 2 ratings
The Inner Source (AKA Solus)
1971
4.04 | 9 ratings
Faces In Reflection
1974
4.10 | 10 ratings
Feel
1974
3.98 | 9 ratings
I Love The Blues - She Heard My Cry
1975
3.14 | 12 ratings
The Aura Will Prevail
1975
3.05 | 6 ratings
Liberated Fantasies
1976
3.75 | 4 ratings
From Me To You
1977
2.96 | 7 ratings
Reach For It
1977
3.67 | 6 ratings
Don't Let Go
1978
4.00 | 2 ratings
The Dream (aka The 1976 solo keyboard album)
1978
3.13 | 5 ratings
A Brazilian Love Affair
1979
3.00 | 5 ratings
Follow The Rainbow
1979
3.50 | 8 ratings
Master Of The Game
1979
3.20 | 5 ratings
Dream On
1982
3.33 | 3 ratings
Guardian Of The Light
1983
4.00 | 1 ratings
Rendezvouz
1984
3.00 | 1 ratings
Thief In The Night
1985
3.00 | 1 ratings
George Duke
1986
3.00 | 2 ratings
Night After Night
1989
1.05 | 2 ratings
Snapshot
1992
2.50 | 2 ratings
Illusions
1995
2.00 | 3 ratings
Muir Woods Suite
1996
3.33 | 3 ratings
After Hours
1998
2.09 | 4 ratings
Cool
2000
3.50 | 2 ratings
Face The Music
2003
2.50 | 2 ratings
Duke
2005
5.00 | 1 ratings
In A Mellow Tone
2006
2.05 | 2 ratings
Dukey Treats
2008
3.02 | 4 ratings
Deja Vu
2010

GEORGE DUKE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Muir Woods Suite
1996

GEORGE DUKE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

GEORGE DUKE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
The Collection
1991
0.00 | 0 ratings
Greatest Hits
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Is Love Enough?
1997
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Essential George Duke
2004
4.00 | 1 ratings
Jazz Moods: 'Round Midnight
2004
4.00 | 1 ratings
My Soul: The Complete MPS Fusion Recordings
2008

GEORGE DUKE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Brazilian Love Affair / Heaven Sent You (split with Stanley Clarke)
1991
0.00 | 0 ratings
Life And Times
1995

GEORGE DUKE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 I Love The Blues - She Heard My Cry by DUKE,GEORGE album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.98 | 9 ratings

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I Love The Blues - She Heard My Cry
George Duke Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

4 stars With George Duke's unfortunate passing just a few days ago, now feels like as good a time as any to revisit one of the man's finest albums, 1975's I Love the Blues, She Heard My Cry. This record was released towards the end of Duke's time spent playing with Frank Zappa's band, and it's apparent that some elements of Zappa's quirky and complex fusion music had rubbed off on him by this point - although not entirely a jazz fusion observation, I Love the Blues, She Heard My Cry contains some tracks like "That's What She Said" and "Giant Child Within Us - Ego" that sound straight out of the Zappa playbook. Not too surprising when one considers that fellow Zappa alumni Ruth Underwood, Bruce Fowler, and Tom Fowler also participated on this album!

I Love the Blues, She Heard My Cry also explores funk and soul-inspired music without ever coming across as bland (even the ballad "Someday" is fantastic!), as well as humorous hard rock on "Rokkinrowl, I Don't Know" and pure traditional blues in the title track. The title track is the only song that I could really do without; I feel that it is a rather weak way to end such a fantastic record, but blues fans may be more into the song than I am. Even taking the out-of-place title track into consideration, I Love the Blues, She Heard My Cry is one of the best jazz fusion albums of the classic era, and an essential pickup for all fusion enthusiasts. Rest easy, Duke!

 The Dream (aka The 1976 solo keyboard album) by DUKE,GEORGE album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.00 | 2 ratings

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The Dream (aka The 1976 solo keyboard album)
George Duke Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by besotoxico

4 stars The copy of this album I have is a little different than what is listed at top. Most of the track times are different on mine and some of the names are different. Tzina is listed as Excerpts from Opera Tzina and clocks 6:11. Spock Does The Bump At The Space Disco is listed as Spock Gets Funky and clocks 3:03. Pathways clocks 6:37. The Dream That Ended is listed as The Dream Has Ended. I will review this album based on my copy.

I had already listened to some of Chick Corea's Piano Improvisations. I somewhat expected it to be of that caliber. Whoa was it so much more for me! I couldn't believe it. I already understood how great this man was/is but this album is definitely something special. Although not commercial I believe this music to be completely accessible.

Mr. McFreeze is hot as hell. The title of this track is misleading. One gets sent on a musical roller coaster at the speed of light. He plays at the speed of a metal guitarist but with tastier licks. At about the middle he does cool it down and bring the funk. I take it back this song is as cool as ice. The drumming isn't crazy but it's solid gold and GEORGE IS PLAYING THEM TOO! This song is the precursor for 80's Japanese Jazz Fusion not to mention many Sega Genesis games of the 90s.

Love Reborn is special. It is delicate, decadent, sensual, and tasty like dark chocolate truffles. A solo piano piece. The playing is top shelf.

Synth city on the next track Excerpts from the Opera Tzina. Theme of Opera Tzina came out on the album Feel (One of my favorite fusion albums of all time.) This could have been used in a Final Fantasy cutscene on SNES. Some ET sounds creeping around 2:30. Sometimes sounds dissonant but transitions to full consonance around 3:30. The closing from 3:45 on is inspiring. It sounds like what many Post-Rock groups would emulate 20 years later despite having no guitars (or any other musicians for that matter).

Spock Gets Funky is just that. Funky. You can tell the slap bass is synth but it's still funky as hell.

Pathways starts with some sexy piano. Synth accompanies around 30 or 40 sec mark. Song really builds up and sounds happy and inspiring. Very merry major key.

Vulcan Mind Probe must be a tribute to Stanley Clarke. Very Extraterrestrial. Sounds like he's playing in 13/8. Despite the complexity of such a time signature he plays flawlessly. Very psychedelic soloing. Around 2:35 it sails away into triplet feel. 1 and uh 2 and uh 3 and uh 4 and uh. The synth bass and solo are sick. Although the drums could be more impressive they are solid for a non-drummer. This part of the track is ultra fusion.

The Dream Has Ended is elegant piano piece. Very beautiful chordal structure. Great control of volume and speed. It almost feels like you're reminiscing on the journey just traveled. Some parts floating while some parts intense while some parts yearn for more. Truly a dream as most dreams end without complete resolve.

This album is truly a masterpiece in the Fusion category. It is a shame that it is overlooked by most jazz and prog aficionados alike. Maybe it's because the drumming and bass aren't on par with real drummers and real bass players. Coming from the point of view that he is playing every instrument I find it brilliant but ultimately this is the albums only shortfall. Seeing as Duke would later dominate the world with his funk and disco glory makes this album even more of a gem. A solid 4 stars.

 Liberated Fantasies by DUKE,GEORGE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.05 | 6 ratings

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Liberated Fantasies
George Duke Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars By 76, George Duke had pretty well turned his back on JR/F and was churning some increasingly sickening love ditties aimed at radio airplay, and this album bears well its name, but not the positive way that you'd expect from an artiste his calibre. This album changes again the formula, this time inviting everyone around the studios at the time (the usual suspects if you wish), but much less successfully so than that "Blues" album released the previous year.

Indeed opening on two insipid and syrupy love ballads, George has the guts to bring us Back To Where We Never Left funky-fusion piece, which is indeed quite dishonest, since the man has been trailing along every possible aisle of the pop-gunk industrial waste dumps. After an interesting but way too short What The, the album plunges into the unfathomable depths of MOR/AOR gunk with the Tryin' track and later on the over-sweetish After The Love (wouldn't you have guessed it with such a title). There are still some good JR/F tracks like Can Hear That (with those jungle wails), the syrupy but thankfully-short synth-string-filled instrumental Tzina and finally the entertaining, lengthy but filled with Wishbone-meets-Magma kitsch vocals title track with Embamba's bass solo and a slight twist of Santana; all of these should or will please most progheads.

Not as bad as it might seem from my review so far, Liberated Fantasies still have some cool fusion moments, even if they now sound a little worn-thin, but it's got some real stinkers on it that ruin the album's continuity and again one can only question Duke's production choices. Approach with care and caution, but if you don't mind half-good albums with tons of gunky AOR crap, this can still be up your alley, but it's nothing essential for sure.

 The Aura Will Prevail by DUKE,GEORGE album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.14 | 12 ratings

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The Aura Will Prevail
George Duke Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars By the middle of the decade, George Duke was churning out albums at a frenetic pace, this one recorded in early 75 and released a few months after the preceding I Love the Blues album. The least we can say is that this album's artwork and title inspire more confidence in the musical content inside, even if the album is not intrinsically superior in quality than its predecessor. From that Remaining Aura, Duke chose to retain much less personnel for this album's sessions, relying on the now-faithful Chancler, the returning Moreira (two tracks) and having Alphonso Johnson (ex-Weather report) on bass.

After a "normal" jr/f opening Dawn track, follows an atrociously-sung and strange For Love track, not totally devoid of interest, but the slow-fusion Foosh lacks fire and if Floop De Loop (George, who was your dealer at the time??) returns to the Beck/Hammer-sounding (but guitar-less) realm, this is starting to sound like just another Duke fusion album, with its already heard composition a flogged-to-death formula, but it ends up being one of my faves of the present album.

On the flipside, Malibu is not exactly successful Latino-fusion track with its cheesy vocals and no-less kitschy synth sounds (by this time, Duke had bought a Moog, but was obviously still a rookie with it), and Fools is an atrocious love ballad that could've fit on a Barry White album. The short spacey Echidna's Arf makes a calm intro to the sickeningly over-sweetish cover of Zappa's Uncle Remus, which again breaks the album's continuity. The closing outro of The Aura again returns to the usual funky fusion of his.

Aura is to be approached with caution, because there are a few objectionable tunes that breaks the album's overall fusion cohesiveness, but then again these tracks are numerous enough to start questioning if this album "fusion" label is the correct one. I wonder if George would gathered the JR/F tracks on one side and glued the other weirdies together on the flipside might not have been wiser choice, than this strange mix and un-match mess.

 I Love The Blues - She Heard My Cry by DUKE,GEORGE album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.98 | 9 ratings

BUY
I Love The Blues - She Heard My Cry
George Duke Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars A slightly disappointing album that sees Duke heading in a funky directions, where vocals take on a more important role, but it's not yet at the detriment of the music. Recorded in late 74 and released the following year under a puzzling old cotton-field blues-type of cliché photo (is that an oxymoron or what?) and title, which for the longest of time fooled me into avoiding it. Getting lots of studio help from whoever was around from the Zappa entourage and the Santana crowd and others hanging around, this is still a fairly interesting album at times

If Chariot and Her Eyes are good funky-leaning tracks, I must say that the vocals turn me off a bit. Some tracks are still instrumental like the quiet Beck/Hammer-sounding Serene Sister, That's What She Said or the funky-spacey-jungle Mashavu, but the majority has vocals, including the rocking-Hendrix-ey (that means very guitar-ey) and spoof-ey Rokkinrowl track; fun stuff. I wouldn't want to overstress the vocals, as they are not too intrusive except on the totally out-of-character bluesy title track closing the album and the awful Someday just preceding it.

The flipside is certainly more prone to singing, including the ultra-funky-jazzy Prepare Yourself, but it has a fine middle section where the Miller/Johnson duo shines on bass and guitar respectively. Giant Child starts on a slightly dissonant intro, which bears little resemblance to what's been just heard, being more standard jazz, but soon jumps into the fusion fire with a horn section and strings. Don't be fooled like I was for almost two decades by the misleading artwork and title, this is still a good fusion album, which is rather pleasant until it reaches the final two tracks to become a bit of "n'importe-quoi", ruining the album's cohesiveness. Make sure you investigate previous duke albums, but this one is still likely to please progheads.

 Faces In Reflection by DUKE,GEORGE album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.04 | 9 ratings

BUY
Faces In Reflection
George Duke Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

4 stars One of the last full JR/F albums in Duke's lengthy discography, Faces In Reflection was originally intended to be called Faces, but George had to change it in the last minute, because there was a very recent release that bore that precise title. Recorded in the scorching heat of LA and released in early 74, the album bears a superb double African mask artwork and hints at an ethnic spiritual direction, which is not really overpowering to say the least.

The album was recorded as a trio, and outside Duke on keyboards, Leon Chancler (of Santana fame amongst others) on drums and John Heard on bass, and is very reminiscent of the highly-regarded Wired-era Jeff Beck albums, despite the total absence of guitars. Duke had just bought a ARP Odyssey synth to diversify his keyboard palette, and in doing so he thought that he'd sound different than Jan Hammer's Mini Moog synth, but alas much of the album is reminiscent of the Beck-Hammer collabs. Indeed right from the opening The Opening track, one is drawn to stuff like Freeway Jam in mind, and if Capricorn offers some scatting vocals from George, we remain in the same galaxy inspiration-wise. The double Piano Solos are more classically oriented, but bear an Alice Coltrane paw as well. With Psychomatic Dung (my fave in this album), we return to Beck- Hammer territory, but bear in mind that those albums were still a few years away, so Duke inspired the duo, rather the other way. The title track is divided in two parts, each ending its own side of the vinyl, an instrumental on the A-side and a sung-version (nothing cringey) on the flipside, both in 9/8.

Heard's bass is rather funky, while Chancler drums up a storm whenever needed, but knows when to slow down to be at the service of the music. Change of tone a bit on the flipside, as the opening bossa track of Maria Tres Filhos (a cover of Nascimento's famous track) is quite Latino-sounding, but it's a bit repetitive and overstays its welcome by a full two minutes. A fully-echoplexed keyboard opens North Beach and tears up a storm almost solo in a John Martyn fashion, and while it might sound a bit dated to jaded keyboardist wizards, it's still quite adventurous, especially for the times. Da Somba returns to Hammer- Beck land but in up-tempoed samba way (hence the title) including a bass solo and a drum solo. The remaster of this album was done in Berlin in the MPS (most promising sound) technique, and the album re-issued in a mini-Lp gatefold format with a black CD disc and it's quite a nice artefact of one of the best George Duke album, the start of a long collab between him and Leon Chancler.

 Deja Vu by DUKE,GEORGE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.02 | 4 ratings

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Deja Vu
George Duke Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Reach For It by DUKE,GEORGE album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.96 | 7 ratings

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Reach For It
George Duke Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by js (Easy Money)
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars In 1977 the initial burst of creative energy that had fueled the world of jazz fusion was starting to wane and fusion pioneers were being eclipsed by new musical stars who were rising from the flashy world of funk, a musical style that was enjoying a creative and popular peak, making it more and more appealing to certain fading fusion stars. I was suspicious of this album, 'Reach for It', when it first came out, as much as I was enjoying EW&F and Parliament during their heyday, I felt for George Duke to head in that popular direction was pure money driven sell-out.

I'm glad I re-visited this record and gave it a second chance. It still comes across as an attempt at commercial success, as the 'reach for it' in the title suggests, Georgie wanted a piece of the pie that had been going to George Clinton and Maurice White, but on the plus side Duke backs his claim for commercial recognition with a very well-made highly polished album that is thoroughly creative from start to finish. What we get here is smorgasbord of styles that late 70s fusion had fractured into as well as some derivative funk as Duke tries out being EW&F on one song and then Bootsy meets Zappa on another. The fusion numbers include one Afro-Cuban scorcher, two Brazilian numbers and one prog-rock flavored cut with great guitar work from Icarus Johnson.

The big hit that George wanted from this album came from the title cut which used to play on late 70s RnB radio in the states along side other classics of the time like Flashlight and Brick House, ..those were the days. As much as it used to bother me that Duke had resorted to turning out hits, re-visiting this song reveals a fairly original and bizarre construction for a radio hit. Basically what we have here is a hard RnB piano riff that repeats insistently while bassist Byron Miller turns in a powerhouse bass solo with a huge flanged sound while the beautiful women on the album cover offer unobtrusive chanting invites to 'dance'. In retrospect I'm kind of surprised it got as much play as it did, its not your standard pop tune.

Overall this is a superbly crafted album that mixes pop and fusion elements into songs that George Duke meant to put into as many home stereos as possible. One interesting plus is that the album opens and closes with excellent ambient space-rock interludes on analog synthesizer.

 The Aura Will Prevail by DUKE,GEORGE album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.14 | 12 ratings

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The Aura Will Prevail
George Duke Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars George Duke's followup to the fantastic "I Love The Blues - She Heard My Cry" is good, but something of a letdown after such a great album. There is mostly good, but not great seventies fusion an the album. And two Frank Zappa songs, Echidna's Arf (in my opinion, one of Zappa's greatest compositions), and Uncle Remus, the latter co-written by Duke with Zappa - we will discuss these later.

The best track here is Floop De Loop, the only original song on the album with a lot of energy. The rest of the songs, while nice, are venturing toward what fusion had become by the eighties, radio friendly easy listening. That trend is mostly apparent in the vocal songs, where Duke croons his bland love lyrics in his cheesy falsetto.

Echidna's Arf starts out amazingly, played faster than I've ever heard it (even by Dweezil's band). It sounds like it's going to be amazing. But then, after the opening section, Duke veers it into a pastiche of spacy synthesizer noises, and never comes back to finish the song. What gives?

His version of Uncle Remus is slower than the "Apostrophe'" recording, and much smoother. While is lacks Zappa's crisp arrangement, I like this version.

So there is enough good music to make this a three star album, It has too many flaw to rate it any higher.

 Dukey Treats by DUKE,GEORGE album cover Studio Album, 2008
2.05 | 2 ratings

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Dukey Treats
George Duke Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Like so many great jazz rock musicians from the seventies, George Duke has successfully made the transition from a terrific jazz fusion musician into a mediocre commercial soul/funk cookie cut-out. From the horrendous artwork to the weak music that's contained inside, Dukey Treats is a very disappointing release. Within this album are banal and cheesy ballads, mediocre soul/funk songs, and a few decent jazz rock tunes that save the album from the depths of oblivion. However, a few decent jazz rock songs can't completely salvage this album. Unless you're interested in hearing an over-produced and highly commercial soul/funk album, there is no reason that you should shell out any money on Dukey Treats.

As I mentioned earlier, this album is a combination soul/funk, jazz rock, and R&B. Unfortunately, the jazz rock portions are the only parts that I really enjoy, and they don't appear all too often. The rest of the album is mediocre at best, frequently bordering on tedium and snooze-inducing boredom. There are a few exceptions, and I kind of enjoy the soul feeling of "Are You Ready", but most of the R&B sections are extremely uninteresting. It's really a shame that a lot of the album is so poor, because a great jazz rock song like "Images of Us" shows me how great this album could have been. At least there are a few songs like this that save the album from the trash. As you should know, the musicianship is really great. Of course, George Duke is a terrific keyboard player, and his cast is pretty great as well. It's hard to see their talent on the majority of the album, but when it comes through it really shines. Even though I've complained about the soul and R&B sections on Dukey Treats, it is worth noting that the vocalists still do a pretty good job throughout the album. The production is also really good. It fits the smooth jazz feel of the album and provides a relaxing atmosphere.

Dukey Treats is not an album that I enjoy very much. There are a couple of songs that save the album for me, but they are few and far between. I was tempted to give a 1 star rating, but since the musicianship is great and the production is professional, I'll have to go with a generous second star. Keep in mind, however, that unless you like generic soul music, Dukey Treats is not an album that you will enjoy.

Thanks to snobb for the artist addition.

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