Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Singer, piano and synthesizer pioneer George Duke was born on Janauary,12th, 1946 in San Rafael,California. He made a name for himself with the album "The Jean Luc Ponty Experience with the George Duke Trio". He is known for his solo work as well as for his collaborations with other musicians, particularly Frank Zappa.

He appeared on a number of Zappa's albums in the early and mid-1970s, including Changa's Revenge,200 Motels,Waka/Jawaka, The Grand Wazzoo and Roxy & Elsewhere. Duke's other high-profile collaborators include , Stanley Clarke, Billy Cobbam, Cannonball Adderly, his cousin Dianne Reeves, Deniece Williams, Jeffrey Osborne, George Clinton, Anita Baker, Rachelle Ferrell and Mike Mainieri's fusion group Steps Ahead, for whom he produced the track "Magnetic Love." He also served as a producer and composer for two instrumental tracks onMiles Davis albums: "Backyard Ritual" (from Tutu, 1986) and "Cobra" (from Amandla, 1989).

He has also worked with a number of notable Brazilian musicians, including singer and composer Milton Nascimento, percussionist Airto Moreira and singer Flora Purim. Duke had been fairly visible in the R&B world thanks to funk gems like "Reach for It" and "Dukey Stick" when in 1979 he ventured to Rio de Janeiro to record probably his best known album called, 'A Brazilian Love Affair'. He employed singers Flora Purim and Milton Nascimento and percussionist Airto Moreira.

Although not the return to instrumental jazz some hoped it would be, this musical effort does contain its share of jazz-influenced material. From a jazz standpoint, the album's most noteworthy songs include Nascimento's "Cravo e Canela," "Love Reborn," and the exuberant "Up from the Sea It Arose and Ate Rio in One Swift Bite." From the same album came the charming gem "Brazilian Sugar" which was featured on the 2006 video game Dead or Alive Xtreme 2. Meanwhile, Nascimento's vocal on the ballad "Ao Que Vai Nascer" is a fine example of Brazilian pop at its most sensuous. However one labels or categorizes this music, the album is clearly a labor of love from start to finish.

Recently Duke worked with Jill Scott on the 3rd single from her sophomore album "Whenever You're Around". Since it was released it has peaked at #56 on U.S. Hot R& B/Hip Hop Singles & Tracks.

George Duke "Brazilian Love Affair"

Reference - Wikipédia

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