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George Duke - I Love The Blues, She Heard My Cry CD (album) cover


George Duke


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.99 | 11 ratings

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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.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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