GEORGE DUKE — I Love the Blues, She Heard My Cry (review)

GEORGE DUKE — I Love the Blues, She Heard My Cry album cover Album · 1975 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
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!
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