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Essential George Duke
     

The Essential George Duke

by George Duke
 
First the confusion: The date on the back of this set is 2004, but it's only being issued in 2006. This is one of those mysteries of the recording industry. Okay: the music. The Essential George Duke is a double-disc, 31-track set documenting George Duke's years with Epic between 1977 and 1984 that netted an

Overview

First the confusion: The date on the back of this set is 2004, but it's only being issued in 2006. This is one of those mysteries of the recording industry. Okay: the music. The Essential George Duke is a double-disc, 31-track set documenting George Duke's years with Epic between 1977 and 1984 that netted an astonishing 11 albums, and the third Stanley Clarke/Duke project disc recorded in 1990. These were the years that Duke -- never a jazz purist anyway -- decided to take a tough swing at the R&B charts. He succeeded. The heyday of disco certainly had its appeal for Duke, but so did funk and urban soul. This was also the period when he enjoyed chart success in the States with the classic funk jam "Reach for It," from the album of the same name, and "Dukey Stick" -- both tracks deeply influenced, if not outright extrapolated from George Clinton's P-Funk sound -- complete with inflated bass, party backing vocals, loose dialogue thrown in, and the obligatory "take it to the bridge." But what the hell, these tunes sound as fine now as they did then! They've aged well. Most of the material here has. Duke is a master musician, and despite the many players who have come through his bands, the core -- Sheila E., Byron Miller, Ricky Lawson, Ndugu Leon Chancler, Charles Johnson, Lynn Davis, Josie James, Napoleon "Napi" Brocks -- never let him down in the studio. Wise editing decisions allow the listener to hear multiple cuts from albums like Don't Let Go, Follow the Rainbow, A Brazilian Love Affair, both Clarke/Duke project discs, (and one from the third), Rendezvous, and Guardian of the Light. Only the title track is here for "Reach for It," but it's the right one. The bonus material is a bit dodgy but still fun, and includes the 12" versions of "Dukey Stick," and "Reach for It." Jazz fans who abandoned Duke during these years will find little to interest them, but those out there searching used record stores for classic funk and disco recordings will find this a treasure trove of tough, slick grooves. Recommended.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/28/2006
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0099751619128
catalogNumber:
16191
Rank:
32191

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

George Duke   Primary Artist,Keyboards,Vocals
Leon "Ndugu" Chancler   Drums
Stanley Clarke   Track Performer
Lynn Davis   Vocals
Sheila Escovedo   Percussion,Vocals
Josie James   Vocals
Ricky Lawson   Drums
Byron Miller   Bass
Icarus Johnson   Guitar
Napoleon "Napi" Brocks   Vocals

Technical Credits

Milton Nascimento   Composer
Bernie Worrell   Composer
George Duke   Composer,Producer,Liner Notes
Herb Cohen   Management
Leon "Ndugu" Chancler   Composer
Stanley Clarke   Arranger,Composer,Producer
George Clinton   Composer
B. Collins   Composer
B. Miller   Composer
Tony Martell   Executive Producer
Ronaldo Bastos   Composer
Chantal Creemers   Art Direction

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