Tuesday, August 06, 2013

George Duke Passes Away

Was stunned to hear the news via the TJMS that another fave musician I grew up with passed away August 5, a year after his wife Corine died of cancer on July 18.

Legendary keyboardist, composer, producer, jazz artist, R&B and soul funkmeister and versatile musician across a wide variety of musical genres George Duke passed away in Los Angeles at age 67.  

As a matter of fact, Duke had recently released a new album called DreamWeaver on July 13 that was a tribute to his departed wife.

The Grammy award winning artist was born in San Rafael, CA on January 12, 1946 and starting from his 1967 graduation from the San Francisco Conservatory he played with a who's who of legendary musicians from a number of genres including Miles Davis, Frank Zappa, Cannonball Adderley, Michael Jackson, Jean-Luc Ponty, Billy Cobham, Jill Scott, his cousin Dianne Reeves, Anita Baker,  Deniece Williams, George Clinton, Jeffrey Osborne, Joe Sample, Rachelle Farrell and Sheila E. over his six decades in the music business.

STANLEY CLARKE - Clarke Duke Project cover I was introduced to him via the 1977 album Reach For It but it was his chart topping song 'Dukey Stick' on his 1978 LP 'Don't Let Go' and the 1981 release of The Clarke/Duke Project album that permanently solidified my love for his music and made him a 'must buy' artist for me when I wanted to add to my expansive music collection.   I still love the songs 'Sweet Baby' and 'Winners' from that album and 'Dukey Stick' to this day.

Cause of death as of this writing hasn't been determined, but to borrow the words of jazz flutist Bobbi Humphrey, "Heaven just got a little funkier."

Rest in peace and power, George Duke.

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