GEORGE DUKE

RnB / Pop/Art Song/Folk / Fusion / Funk Jazz / Soul Jazz / Vocal Jazz / Third Stream / Post-Fusion Contemporary / Post Bop / Latin Jazz / Funk • United States
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George Duke (January 12, 1946 – August 5, 2013) was an American musician, known as a keyboard pioneer, composer, singer and producer in both jazz and popular mainstream musical genres. He had worked with numerous acclaimed artists as arranger, music director, writer and co-writer, record producer and professor of music. He first made a name for himself with the album The Jean-Luc Ponty Experience with the George Duke Trio. He was known primarily for thirty-odd solo albums as well as for his collaborations with other musicians, particularly Frank Zappa.

Duke attended Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley before earning a bachelor's degree in trombone and composition with a minor in contrabass, from the San Francisco Conservatory in 1967. Playing initially with friends from garages to local clubs, Duke quickly eased his way into session work, which refined his abilities and expanded his approach to music. (He later earned his Masters
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George Duke: Greatest HitsGeorge Duke: Greatest Hits
Legacy 2008
$3.79
$4.99 (used)
IllusionsIllusions
Warner Bros. 1995
$12.94
$3.12 (used)
Master of the GameMaster of the Game
Soulmusic Records 2011
$11.54
$15.97 (used)
Aura Will PrevailAura Will Prevail
Mps 2018
$25.34
$25.38 (used)
Don't Let GoDon't Let Go
Limited Edition
Sony 2017
$12.98
$19.98 (used)
Brazilian FusionBrazilian Fusion
Wounded Bird Records 2013
$9.17
$14.55 (used)
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GEORGE DUKE Discography

GEORGE DUKE albums / top albums

GEORGE DUKE The George Duke Quartet Presented by the Jazz Workshop 1966 of San Francisco (aka The Primal George Duke) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The George Duke Quartet Presented by the Jazz Workshop 1966 of San Francisco (aka The Primal George Duke)
Post Bop 1966
GEORGE DUKE Save the Country album cover 2.52 | 3 ratings
Save the Country
Soul Jazz 1970
GEORGE DUKE Third Wave Arranged And Conducted By George Duke ‎: Here And Now album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Third Wave Arranged And Conducted By George Duke ‎: Here And Now
Vocal Jazz 1970
GEORGE DUKE Feel album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
Feel
Funk Jazz 1974
GEORGE DUKE Faces in Reflection album cover 3.67 | 4 ratings
Faces in Reflection
Fusion 1974
GEORGE DUKE I Love the Blues, She Heard My Cry album cover 3.76 | 3 ratings
I Love the Blues, She Heard My Cry
Fusion 1975
GEORGE DUKE The Aura Will Prevail album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
The Aura Will Prevail
Fusion 1975
GEORGE DUKE Liberated Fantasies album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Liberated Fantasies
Funk Jazz 1976
GEORGE DUKE From Me to You album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
From Me to You
RnB 1977
GEORGE DUKE Reach For It album cover 3.02 | 2 ratings
Reach For It
Funk Jazz 1977
GEORGE DUKE Don't Let Go album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Don't Let Go
RnB 1978
GEORGE DUKE Pacific Jazz album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Pacific Jazz
Soul Jazz 1978
GEORGE DUKE The Dream (aka The 1976 Solo Keyboard Album) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Dream (aka The 1976 Solo Keyboard Album)
Fusion 1978
GEORGE DUKE Follow the Rainbow album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Follow the Rainbow
Funk 1979
GEORGE DUKE Master of the Game album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Master of the Game
RnB 1979
GEORGE DUKE A Brazilian Love Affair album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
A Brazilian Love Affair
Latin Jazz 1979
GEORGE DUKE Dream On album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Dream On
RnB 1982
GEORGE DUKE Guardian of the Light album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Guardian of the Light
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1983
GEORGE DUKE Rendezvous album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rendezvous
RnB 1984
GEORGE DUKE Thief In The Night album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Thief In The Night
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1985
GEORGE DUKE George Duke album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
George Duke
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1986
GEORGE DUKE Night After Night album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Night After Night
RnB 1989
GEORGE DUKE Snapshot album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Snapshot
RnB 1992
GEORGE DUKE Illusions album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Illusions
RnB 1995
GEORGE DUKE Is Love Enough? album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Is Love Enough?
RnB 1997
GEORGE DUKE After Hours album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
After Hours
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1998
GEORGE DUKE Cool album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Cool
RnB 2000
GEORGE DUKE Face the Music album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Face the Music
RnB 2003
GEORGE DUKE In a Mellow Tone album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In a Mellow Tone
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2006
GEORGE DUKE Dukey Treats album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Dukey Treats
RnB 2008
GEORGE DUKE Deja Vu album cover 2.08 | 3 ratings
Deja Vu
RnB 2010
GEORGE DUKE DreamWeaver album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
DreamWeaver
RnB 2013

GEORGE DUKE EPs & splits

GEORGE DUKE live albums

GEORGE DUKE Muir Woods Suite album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Muir Woods Suite
Third Stream 1996
GEORGE DUKE Duke album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Duke
RnB 2005

GEORGE DUKE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

GEORGE DUKE re-issues & compilations

GEORGE DUKE The Inner Source album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Inner Source
Soul Jazz 1973
GEORGE DUKE Three Originals album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Three Originals
Funk Jazz 1993
GEORGE DUKE Greatest Hits album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Greatest Hits
Funk Jazz 1996
GEORGE DUKE This Is Jazz 37 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
This Is Jazz 37
Funk Jazz 1998
GEORGE DUKE Jazz Moods : 'Round Midnight album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jazz Moods : 'Round Midnight
RnB 2004
GEORGE DUKE The Essential George Duke album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Essential George Duke
Funk Jazz 2006
GEORGE DUKE Keyboard Giant album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Keyboard Giant
Soul Jazz 2007
GEORGE DUKE My Soul: The Complete MPS Fusion Recordings (1971-76) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
My Soul: The Complete MPS Fusion Recordings (1971-76)
Fusion 2008
GEORGE DUKE From Me To You/Reach For It album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
From Me To You/Reach For It
RnB 2009
GEORGE DUKE Original Album Classics album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Original Album Classics
RnB 2010
GEORGE DUKE The Complete 1970s Epic Albums Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Complete 1970s Epic Albums Collection
Funk Jazz 2012
GEORGE DUKE Brazilian Fusion album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Brazilian Fusion
Latin Jazz 2013
GEORGE DUKE The Era Will Prevail - The MPS Years 1973-1976 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Era Will Prevail - The MPS Years 1973-1976
Fusion 2015

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GEORGE DUKE movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

GEORGE DUKE Reviews

GEORGE DUKE I Love the Blues, She Heard My Cry

Album · 1975 · Fusion
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J-Man
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!

GEORGE DUKE Deja Vu

Album · 2010 · RnB
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J-Man
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.

GEORGE DUKE Dukey Treats

Album · 2008 · RnB
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J-Man
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.

GEORGE DUKE Liberated Fantasies

Album · 1976 · Funk Jazz
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Sean Trane
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.

GEORGE DUKE The Aura Will Prevail

Album · 1975 · Fusion
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Sean Trane
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.

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