“The whole idea behind Déjà Vu was to take a look back at some
of the stuff I used to do that was a little more musically
challenging,” comments Duke. “In some way or another, whatever
happened before always comes around again. It may be a little
different, but it will resurface. That’s kind of what this album is –
a resurfacing of some ideas I had back in the ‘70s when I recorded
albums with a lot of synthesizers, like Feel and The Aura
George Duke welcomes
on his new album many great musicians of the smooth jazz scene like
Michael Manson (bass), Paul Jackson (guitars), Ronald Brunner jr.
(drums), Nicholas Payton (trumpet), Everette Harp (sax), Ray Fuller
(guitar), Bob Sheppard (sax) and many more. He holds all cards in his
hand with a full house.
track is simply entitled A Melody. Latin flavored in the good
old fashion way singers Terry Dexter, Lynne Fiddmont, Lamont Van Hook
and Shannon Pearson let it swing. George Duke's sophisticated approach
to the synthesizers speaks a lot about his deep masterly knowledge of
You Touch My
Brain was originally recorded for Dukey Treats but didn't
make it on the album. “I put it together for this record using some
weird old clavinets and Wurlitzers and other vintage instruments –
stuff that would give it that vintage ‘60s sound,” says Duke. “I had
everyone in the room at the same time for that track, and we just did
it, so it has that spontaneous feel.” All musicians flawlessly
transpose the bluesy idea behind this piece.
On What Goes Around Comes Around George Duke lets return the
vocoder as stylistic feature. While Everette Harp shares the lead with
George Duke, for me is another thing an eye opener. George is a
formidable drum programmer showcasing today's possibilities of modern
programming. Bring Me Joy is foremost a silky and fine ballade
full of soul. Unbelievable how humanized emotional Rhodes, Korg and
Mini Moog can sound. Just brilliant is George's treat of the cool
vibes in a piano-soft attack.
The opening of
Ripple In Time is build like a sound collage. The track is a
tribute to Miles Davis interpreted by trumpist Oscar Brashear. “It was
fun to have Oscar do his Miles imitation on this track,” says Duke.
“It conjures up that period for Miles in the ‘70s when he was doing
some of his more funky stuff with the strange chords underneath.”
Although the piece is structured George surprises with Jef Lee
Johnson's powerful rockish guitar performance.
Do you feel the fun
the musicians have on Oh Really? George enthuses: "My old
Wurlitzer 140B sounds like it’s stuffed with socks – and that
Castlebar Clavinet – oh boi!!! I can’t neglect that organ – whew,
kinda fonky but plenty jazzy at the same time."
Duke transforms the
song from his album Snapshot (1992) to 6
O'Clock Revisited with a expanded lyrical story sharing the vocals
with his son Rashid Duke accompanied by Ray Fuller on guitar.
Sometimes you just have to sit back listening to the splendid
balladeer George Duke and enjoying Come To Me Now.
Stupid Is As
Stupid Does indicates that a person is judged stupid by the stupid
acts he commits. In this case Bob Sheppard, Nicholas Payton, Hubert
Laws and Ron Brunner give George Duke's key mastery an intelligent
answer. On Déjà Vu George Duke exposes violinist Sarah
Thornblade. The similarity to the Mahavishnu Orchestra experience is