Monday, January 12, 2015

Duke's Travels

Let's get the week funkin' properly with a special birthday tribute to a recently departed monster musician.
He left this world only about 18 months ago, but the shadow he casts -- particularly over modern, synth-driven soul and R&B -- is monumental.
I was first exposed to the music of George Duke via the seminal 1973-74 bands of Frank Zappa... later on I figured out that he had come from Jean-Luc Ponty's band and had made all manner of records -- spanning from straight-ahead jazz to fusion to R&B -- on his own.
To honor this master of every possible sort of keyboard instrument, I will post this utterly brain-smashing fusion set of George's collaboration with drum lord Billy Cobham, bass giant Alphonso Johnson and guitar guru John Scofield, filmed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1976. I think you'll find it worthy of such a tremendous figure in this kind of music.
Billy Cobham/George Duke Band
Montreux Jazz Festival
Montreux, Switzerland

01 Panhandler
02 Juicy
03 Red Baron
04 Al-Mustafa the Beloved
05 Ivory Tattoo
06 Some Day
07 Hip Pockets
08 Sweet Wine
09 Life & Time
10 Stratus
11 That's What She Said

Total time: 1:19:12

Billy Cobham - drums
George Duke - keyboards, vocals
John Scofield - guitar
Alphonso Johnson - bass, Chapman stick, vocals

NTSC DVD of a Japanese satellite broadcast from the 1990s
This one is a classic and a great looking/sounding capture as well, and a fitting tribute to one of my favorites. I hope you feel the same way and will take a moment of gratitude for George Duke, a keyboard maestro of our lifetimes, born this day in 1946.--J.
1.12.1946 - 8.5.2013