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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

Amazon UK

The Essential GEORGE DUKE

EPIC/Legacy 516191 2




  1. Scuse Me Miss
  2. Reach for It
  3. Starting Again
  4. Dukey Stick
  5. Movin’ On
  6. Party Down
  7. Say That You Will
  8. Funkin’ for the Thrill
  9. Summer Breezin’
  10. Cravo E Canela
  11. Up From the Sea it Arose and Ate Rio in One Swift Bite
  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
  17. You


  1. Shine On
  2. Ride On Love
  3. Son of Reach for It
  4. Every Reason to Smile
  5. Heroes
  6. The Good times
  7. Overture
  8. Reach Out
  9. 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 (Disco Version)
  16. Reach Out 12"

In his forward to this album George Duke says he combines Jazz, Funk, Latin, Dance, Fusion & Rock and Roll. As a jazz reviewer therefore I was not expecting to like it more than 20%! There is nothing wrong with this as superior pop and disco music, it is much more inventive and better played than anything I have heard in recent times from either of those genre. I would contend however, that for the jazz listener, there is not much more than an occasional jazz feel. There are some short solos on the tracks from the Brazilian Love Affair and to me these are the most appealing.

The huge success of George Duke would probably not occurred had he pursued his original career in the straight ahead jazz rhythm sections of Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon and Kenny Dorham. The mere fact that he could hold those jobs down confirms what I suspected by listening to the album, that musically he is of the best. He has also appeared with Sonny Rollins, Frank Zappa and Cannonball Adderley, but his interest in fusion has seemed to move his work away from jazz. I am sure he is much richer financially for that and he obviously enjoys what he does.

For those that are into fusion, I am sure this could be the release of the year, but for a straight-ahead jazz reviewer like me, it is just not my bag.


Don Mather

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