There are some artists that at any awakening moment you can count on, you know them, you trust them, simply because you’ve know they’ve got game! George Duke is one of those artists whose voice speaks with passion, clarity and familiarity with each project. His new one appropriately titled “Duke” is somewhat of a departure from “Face The Music, 2002”. Nevertheless, Duke’s latest musical adventure encompasses the trademark qualities and beyond that will draw listeners back for another serving of tasty yet fascinating music by George Duke.

 “Trust” opens the set on the positive tip as the title suggests the flavor is bright, upbeat and funky laced with an extremely tight horn section that offers a nicely balanced musical pallet. As I listen to “I Wanna Know” I immediately had a flashback (back in the 70’s) to when I heard George sing lead vocals for the first time and wondered why is he doing this?  After this brief moment of madness, I’ve soon learned to appreciate the voice of Duke because no one else can expressively speak with the tonality that he apparently does so eloquently. 

To my surprise, Duke covers a Stevie Wonder’s classic “Superwoman” at the 3rd spot on Duke. Now, this is the way to redefine a song by giving it your own signature without losing the basic fundamentals of the composition. On the next track Duke swings into one of his classic subdued mood with “No One”, his keys as usual are vibrant yet seductively stimulating coupled with beautiful background vocals makes this another adoring classic. 

Duke has scored another tight groove this time with a cut called “Tjam”! I dig this tune; its bright and colorful, and radio should be all over this jam. “Tjam” features solos of course by himself, flute, trumpet, horn section, bass, tenor sax, congas and timbales. This is a fun party jam that listeners will rejoice in everywhere. 

Duke taps into the pulse of today’s R&B with “Somebody’s Body”, its catchy hooks and melodies are seriously on point. I can see Urban Radio embracing this track because it has all the seductive qualities that vocally fits into its winning formula. The variety of ingredients that’s contained in Duke’s music is what attracts me to his compositions. The structure, and unwavering dynamics are by no means illusive. Duke pens the Brazilian flavored “Sausalito” that proves his versatility as a composer is far beyond the norm. 

Saturday Night” opens with a dedication to what his mother loves to listen to. The vibe is definitely fresh, having a nice melody and groove makes you wanna step to the music! Duke changes moods with “In Between The Heartaches”; this jam sounds like it was scored at the same time or in the mindset of his “After Hours” release because it reflects that aura musically.  

At this point Duke takes you thru a musical transformation with the 18 plus minute “Hybrids”. I dig this track because it reminds me of something that he’s done in a live setting before.  Hybrid” reflects the voices of Miles Davis (Tutu), and Marcus Miller’s funky bass style penetrates slowly but sure imposing vibe that takes you on a musical journey beyond explanation. 

Homeland” is an enchanting African groove that concludes this breath taking music expedition by Duke and the fabulous players that rushed with enthusiasm to record “Duke”. 

George Duke is one of the most consistent and fun loving musicians that you’ll have the privilege, pleasure and honor to listen to. With each song Duke navigates thoroughly thru the pages of his prolific songbook unveiling the more profound nuances of his most compelling compositions. Therefore, Duke arrives with some of his most expansive collection of promising melodies, harmonies, textures and funk grooves to date. 




q       Visit George Duke’s web space:

q       Buy his new project “Duke” at fine music stores everywhere, release date: March 29, 2005