George Duke: Face The Music (2002)
From A to Z (Cannonball Adderley to Frank Zappa), George Duke has worked with an eclectic bunch. He has always marched to the beat of a different drummer. Face The Music is Duke’s first release on his own label, Big Piano Music.
The recording kicks things off with “The Black Messiah (Part Two),” which includes the voice of the late Cannonball Adderley introducing George Duke at one of their performances. Duke brings his flair for funk; you can hear the ol’ school R&B influences in his sound. He is a master on grand piano and synths.
“Chillin” is a warm, tropical piecewide open, with lots of room for the Caribbean breeze. Duke’s vocals are hypnotic and smooth, and the acoustic bass of Christian McBride adds earthy warmth.
Duke continues the smooth swingin’ on “My Piano,” bringing his Latin chops out. He is truly an accomplished keyboardist. And he has funyou can sense it. It makes for good listening. On this cut he slips from a South American sound to gospel to a building chorus that will give you goosebumps!
George Duke has always loved a funky bassist and a powerful drummer, as evidenced with his work with Stanley Clarke and Billy Cobham. Bassist McBride and drummer Little John Roberts continue that tradition here.
Duke mixes things up nicely and presents a pretty package with Face The Music. The sexy, sultry “Guess You’re Not The One” displays Duke’s lyrical sound. He paints a picture on the piano, truly beautiful stuff. “Ten Mile Jog” closes out this fine compilation with funk urgency! Call to arms! Duke means business. Check this CD out.
Track Listing: The Black Messiah (Part two), Chillin', My Piano, Guess You're Not The One, Let's Roll, Ain't It Funky Now, Clse To You (featuring Kirk Whalum), Another Way To Look At It, Creepin', Ten Mile Jog
Personnel: George Duke (piano, rhodes, wurlitzer, clavinet, nord lead3, mini mog, se-1, Roland A-90, vocals, TC-Helicon Voice Prism Plus, EMU E4X Turbo Sampler, Korg X5DR), Christian McBride (upright, electric and fretless basses), Jef Lee ohnson (acoustic and electric guitars), Little John Roberts (drums, Roland Vdrums), Lenny Castro (percussion), Everette Harp (alto sax), Daniel Higgins (tenor sax), Oscar Brashear (trumpet, flugelhorn), Isaac Smith (trombone), Lori Perry (background vocal), Kenya Hathaway (background vocal), Jim Gilstrap (background vocal), Wayne Holmes (background vocal), Kirk Whalum (tenor sax on "Close To You")
Record Label: Big Piano Music