06 August 2013

Follow the Rainbow: A Tribute to George Duke (1946-2013)

As most have heard by now the great George Duke passed away last night at the age of 67. This is a somewhat personal loss for me (as personal as it can get with someone you've never met) as George Duke was one of those very early artists that captured my attention at a young age. George Duke (along with Herbie Hancock) was my gateway to the 70s Jazz World and lead me to other acts such as George Benson, Ronnie Laws, Stanley Clarke and Al Jarreau. In the era before "smooth jazz" these cats were on the cutting edge of genre blending which resulted in some of the most timeless music of the last 40 years. George coming up in the Bay Area in the late 60's was no doubt key to his openness to experimenting with different sounds and styles. Working with the likes of Frank Zappa, Jean-Luc Ponty and Quincy Jones, George Duke went to school and built a musical foundation second to none. The saddest part of this loss is these "Jazz" men of today are totally unqualified to fill the shoes of the Dukes and Hancocks, resorting instead to muzak covers and lifeless instrumentals packaged up and sold as "smooth jazz". While it's true George was a part of the smooth jazz scene these last 20 years or so, nobody can ever take away the impressive body of work he created in the 70s & 80s as artist, song writer, session player and producer.

This is by no means a "best of" or completest compilation... it's simply a collection of tracks I felt like hearing right now in this time of sadness and reflection. Although I've pulled from different eras and included some of his newer stuff as well (Jazzmatazz is from his album released just a week or so back) the majority of tracks are songs I grew up with and will always hold a special place in my life. Thanks Mr. Duke.. you will be missed but never forgotten.

track list in comments section


1 comment:

Old Pro said...

Reach Out (12" Version)
Say That You Will
This Lovin'
Dukey Stick
Wild Dogs feat. Stanley Clarke
Shine On
Ride On Love
Sweet Baby (Piano Version)

55m 42s

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