Friday, December 26, 2014

2014 - The Year in Review (Census) GEORGE DUKE (1946-2014)

   George Duke was among a group of three friends who started out in the music business together (the other two were Al Jarreau and Bill Withers).....all three reached world wide acclaim. George Duke was famous for his solo projects and for his production work with other acts that also reached a high level of stardom....Deniece Williams, Hiroshima, Jeffrey Osborne, Sheila E. and Philip Bailey just to name a few. Duke's signature song was a collaborative effect with his friend and fellow
jazz standout Stanley Clark. "Sweet Baby" reached #19 on Billboard's top 20 in 1981.
   George Duke was prolific, between 1966 and 2013 George Duke produced 37 albums for a variety of influential record labels that include Columbia/Epic, Electra, Warner Brothers and more. There was a surprising (at least for me) collaboration with George Clinton that paved the way for George Duke to make strong inroads into the hard core R&B market. The song that did it was "Reach For It" with that Parliament-Funkadelic groove.
  My favorite George Duke story is about the time he was producing an album for Deniece Williams and was vehemently opposed to putting the song "Let's Hear It For The Boy" on the album. He reluctantly went along with its inclusion and to his total surprise this song became a #1 smash, and thus far the only #1 in Deniece Williams' career.
   The "Master Of The Game" album had the unforgettable "I Want You For Myself" and George Duke travelled to Brazil to record "A Brazilian Love Affair" with Brazilian legends Milton Nascimento, Airto and Flora Purim. George Duke passed on at the age of 67 due to leukemia. The music world lost a true genius in 2014.

No comments:

Post a Comment