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George Duke

Posted by purplemary54 on August 8, 2013

Genre-hopping Jazz pianist George Duke passed away this week at 67.  I admit I never knew that much about him.  Although he resisted being pigeonholed into any one style or genre–playing with Rock and Pop legends like Frank Zappa and Michael Jackson, among others–Duke had the smooth jazz style that generally makes me tune out.  He was very well-known for his collaborations with guitarist Stanley Clarke in the 1980s.  But really, this man didn’t need anyone else.  I get the impression that he played with others because he enjoyed it and loved working with such diverse musical minds; he certainly didn’t need anyone to prop up his musicianship.  This guy had serious chops.

George Duke loved his job.  His joy in music shines through every note.  It might not be my style, but it’s good stuff.  That’s the thing about skill and quality: You don’t have to hide it behind pyrotechnics or laser shows.  George Duke and his band just get out there and play.  That’s the hallmark of a great musician.



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