Performers We Love: George Duke

Professionals in the entertainment industry can all agree that the pioneer in America’s truest form of music, George Duke, will be greatly missed. George died Monday in Los Angeles from his battle with leukemia at age 67, his record label told the press.

Uncharted Territory
We’ll forever cherish Duke as the mastermind fusion artist that brought together jazz, rock and R&B to create his own funktastic sound. His career began in 1966, but it wasn’t until 1969 that he became a music-sensation on the West Coast after re-discovering his childhood affinity for the piano and producing progressive jazz-style music with Jean-Luc Ponty. The following is a track produced by the Jean-Luc Ponty and the George Duke Trio in 1969, titled “Pamukkale.”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oag3k2RbNIE&w=420&h=315]

Adventures of a Solo-Artist
Later in his career, Duke embarked on his own musical journey. The solo-artist began putting out music that fused elements of disco, soul, jazz and funk to create his own unique sound. He also began producing music with artists like The Pointer Sisters, Dianne Reeves and Stanley Clarke, whom he produced a Top 20 hit, “Sweet Baby,” with in the ‘80s:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZZcZHWw9eM&w=420&h=315]

He Loved the ’90s
After he finished touring with Clarke, Duke returned to the studio in 1992 tired, but still committed to his sound and career. He put out the track, “No Rhyme, No Reason,” which quickly became a fan-favorite.

Duke’s long career was laden with musical gems, entertainment wonders and whimsical sounds that are more than worth your exploration. Today, we’re leaving you with the last music that Duke produced, which was his way of honoring his deceased wife whom he had lost to cancer approximately one year ago, titled “Dreamweaver.”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hpmkFmzd9s&w=560&h=315]

Thank you for your musical prowess, entertainment genius and artistic talents, George Duke. The industry will forever revel in your fusion-glory; rest in peace.

 

 

 

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