George Duke - The Essential George Duke (2006)

George Duke - The Essential George Duke (2006)
Release: 28 Mar 2006 | Track: 23 (2CD) | Format: | Size: 360 MB
Genre: Jazz Funk, Smooth Jazz, Brazilian Jazz, Soul | Label: Legacy
First the confusion: The date on the back of this set is 2004, but it's only being issued in 2006. This is one of those mysteries of the recording industry. Okay: the music. The Essential George Duke is a double-disc, 31-track set documenting George Duke's years with Epic between 1977 and 1984 that netted an astonishing 11 albums, and the third Stanley Clarke/Duke project disc recorded in 1990. These were the years that Duke -- never a jazz purist anyway -- decided to take a tough swing at the R&B charts. He succeeded. The heyday of disco certainly had its appeal for Duke, but so did funk and urban soul. This was also the period when he enjoyed chart success in the States with the classic funk jam "Reach for It," from the album of the same name, and "Dukey Stick" -- both tracks deeply influenced, if not outright extrapolated from George Clinton's P-Funk sound -- complete with inflated bass, party backing vocals, loose dialogue thrown in, and the obligatory "take it to the bridge." But what the hell, these tunes sound as fine now as they did then! They've aged well. Most of the material here has. Duke is a master musician, and despite the many players who have come through his bands, the core -- Sheila E., Byron Miller, Ricky Lawson, Ndugu Leon Chancler, Charles Johnson, Lynn Davis, Josie James, Napoleon "Napi" Brocks -- never let him down in the studio. Wise editing decisions allow the listener to hear multiple cuts from albums like Don't Let Go, Follow the Rainbow, A Brazilian Love Affair, both Clarke/Duke project discs, (and one from the third), Rendezvous, and Guardian of the Light. Only the title track is here for "Reach for It," but it's the right one. The bonus material is a bit dodgy but still fun, and includes the 12" versions of "Dukey Stick," and "Reach for It." Jazz fans who abandoned Duke during these years will find little to interest them, but those out there searching used record stores for classic funk and disco recordings will find this a treasure trove of tough, slick grooves.


Disc 1
01. Scuse Me Miss
02. Reach for It
03. Starting Again
04. Dukey Stick
05. Movin' On
06. Party Down
07. Say That You Will
08. Funkin' For The Thrill
09. Summer Breezin'
10. Cravo E Canela
11. Up The Seat It Arose
12. Brazilian Love Affair
13. Every Little Step I Take
14. I Want You For Myself
15. Sweet Baby
16. I Just Want To Love You - The Clarke/Duke Project
17. You

Disc 2
01. Shine On
02. Ride On Love
03. Son Of Reach For It
04. Every Reason To Smile - The Clarke/Duke Project
05. Heroes - The Clarke/Duke Project
06. The Good Times - The Clarke/Duke Project
07. Overture
08. Reach Out
09. Give Me Your Love
10. Silly Fightin'
11. Got To Get Back to Love
12. She Can Wait Forever
13. Secret Rendezvous
14. Mothership Connection
15. Dukey Stick (12" Version)
16. Reach Out (12" Version)


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