462

George Duke: Dukey Treats

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
George Duke: Dukey Treats George Duke is one of those artists who defy easy description. A keyboardist, vocalist, composer and producer, he may turn up anywhere. At various stages of his career, he's been a bandleader, a sideman and manager of his own label, BPM (Big Piano Music).

Duke's associations on the stage or in the studio cover various genres: pop, funk, blues, jazz, smooth jazz, etc. He was a member of Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's band, collaborated with Stanley Clarke, and has worked with Kirk Whalum, Rick Braun, Fourplay, Larry Carlton and many others. Duke even had a recurring role as a piano bar owner in the short-lived soap opera, Generations.

Now, Duke is back with his conventional sound; or unconventional, depending on how you look at it. Dukey Treats is at once a throwback to Duke's days as a funk-jazz master and a step forward into something altogether different.

The ultra funky "Everyday Hero" sets the tone. With Michael Manson offering a Clarke-like bass line, and Ron Bruner Jr. delivering a staccato drum track, this mostly instrumental selection is reminiscent of a vintage James Brown/Maceo Parker piece complemented by a horn section and small vocal ensemble.

A ballad, "I Tried to Tell You," features more of Duke's dexterity on the keys, as well as his vocal lead. Michael "Patches" Stewart's soft trumpet helps underscore the lead, along with the rest of the horns. Guitarist Jef Lee Johnson's middle solo is an elegant reminder of the signature Isley Brothers sound.

With the small ensemble of Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, Lenny Castro on percussion, Jubu on guitar and Corine Duke offering "shush," Duke vents with "Somebody Laid It On Us," a funky social anthem. Again showing his dexterity on keys, Duke questions why some in society think it is acceptable to fight, steal, rob or hurt other people. "Somebody laid it on us, told us that there's only one way, that we are right and they are wrong, and we must make them pay," Duke sings.

Duke revisits "Creepin,'" one of the more delightful songs from his popular Face the Music (BPM, 2002). With several members of that recording, including bassist Christian McBride and drummer Little John Roberts, Duke and the gang deliver a haunting tribute to those who sneak around on their lovers.

Throughout Dukey Treats, Duke is accompanied by an ever-changing supporting cast. Each contributes wonderfully, although the limited use of Rachell Ferrell seems wasteful. That is the only disappointment of this album. And that all twelve songs are written by Duke is refreshing in a time when many artists are doing covers.


Track Listing: Everyday Hero; I Tried to Tell You; A Fonk Tail; Dukey Treats; Listen Baby; Mercy; Somebody Laid It On Us; Creepin'; (ghoulie remix); Right on Time; Sudan; Are You Ready; Images of Us.

Personnel: George Duke: vocals (1-11), Rhodes (1, 2, 5, 6, 9-12), Clavinet (1, 2, 4, 6), synths (1-4, 6, 7, 9-12), narration (3), vibes (5), piano (7, 9, 11), keyboards (8); Rachell Ferrell: vocals (1, 9); Lori Perry: vocals (1, 8), rap (8); Michael Manson: bass (1, 2, 10, 12), Jef Lee Johnson: guitar (1, 2, 4-6, 8, 10, 12), acoustic guitar (5, 9); Ron Bruner Jr.: drums (1, 2, 10, 12); Josie James: vocals (1, 6, 8), rap (6, 8); Fred White: vocals (1, 11); Sheila E: percussion (1, 4, 6), rap (6); Everette Harp: alto sax (1, 2, 4, 6, 11, 12); Dan Higgins: tenor sax (1, 2, 11); Michael “Patches” Stewart: trumpet (1, 2, 4-6, 11, 12); Reggie Young: trombone (1, 2, 11); Dee Dee Foster: vocals (2); James Gilstrap: vocals (2, 9); Byron Miller: bass (4, 6), rap (6, 8), vocals (8); Leon “Ndugu” Chancler: drums (4, 6), rap (6, 8), vocals (8); Lynn Davis: vocals (4); Napoleon Murphy Brock: vocals (4, 6), rap (6); Darrell Cox: rap (4); Isley Remington: trombone (4, 6, 12); Jubu: guitar (5, 7, 11); Ray Fuller: guitar (5, 9); Vinnie Colaiuta: drums (5 7); Lenny Castro: percussion (5, 7); Wah Wah Watson: guitar (6); Larry Williams: tenor sax (6); Kamasi Washington: tenor sax solo (6); Corine Duke: "shush" (7); Christian McBride: upright bass (8), vocals (8); Little John Roberts: drums (8), vocals (8); Howard Hewett: vocals (8), rap (8); Kenya Hathaway: vocals (8), rap (8); Wayman Tisdale: bass fills (9); Teddy Campbell: drums (9, 11); Larry Kimpel: bass (9, 11); Teena Marie: vocal (10); Jonathan Butler: vocal (10); Nigel Martinez: foreign correspondent; Fiona Frawley: foreign correspondent; Lynn Fiddmont: vocals (11); Terry Dexter: vocals (11).

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Heads Up International | Style: Funk/Groove


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Saints and Sinners" CD/LP/Track Review Saints and Sinners
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 30, 2016
Read "The Only Way To Float Free" CD/LP/Track Review The Only Way To Float Free
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 12, 2016
Read "December Songs" CD/LP/Track Review December Songs
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Greatest Hits" CD/LP/Track Review Greatest Hits
by Doug Collette
Published: November 18, 2016
Read "Stephan Crump's Rhombal" CD/LP/Track Review Stephan Crump's Rhombal
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 20, 2016
Read "EARS" CD/LP/Track Review EARS
by Rob Caldwell
Published: April 3, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!