You know how sometimes you’re a huge fan of an artist but their style changes over time? You keep buying their new music because you’re holding on/hoping for what you enjoyed in the past. Fortunately, that is not the case for every artist. George Duke is a constant in the contemporary jazz universe. He’s done other styles but he always comes back to the funk/soul style he loves best. His new Dukey Treats, available tomorrow, is full of soulful vocals provided by some familiar names: Jonathan Butler, Howard Hewett, Teena Marie, Rachelle Ferrell, and more. “I didn’t want to drift too far away from the old school sensibility,” Duke explains. As usual, you’ll find an irresistible track or two – it was the peppy “Are You Ready” for me.
Fans will not be disappointed in Dukey Treats. It’s like a visit from an old friend who hasn’t lost the things you love about him or her.
Buy Dukey Treats now from Amazon.com.
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George Duke says he “stretched a little more into the funk area on this one because I had so many people ask me to.” Think he’s kidding? The first half of Is Love Enough?, which is much more like his previous Warner Bros. albums Snapshot and Illusions than last year’s Muir Woods Suite, is heavy on the funk and slow jams. On the opening of “Kinda Low,” Duke, bassist Byron Miller, and drummer Ndugu Chancler declare “Once ya funky, ya always funky!” The groove is deep, with the sole exception of the sweet “Fill the Need.” Duke gets jazzier after the instrumental “Time and Space” interlude (futuristic instrumentals open and close the album). After Duke’s uptempo “Back in the Day” instrumental, he lets Jonathan Butler and Dianne Reeves take over “This Place I Call Home.” Dori Caymmi is featured on “Whatever Happened To…” Duke pulls in many of his frequent partners, including Everette Harp, Rachelle Ferrell, Phil Perry, and George Howard. Also appearing on the album are Doc Powell and Norman Brown. Of his fellow musicians, Duke says “each of you brought gourmet dishes to the musical table.” Is Love Enough? features a table with equal portions of funk and contemporary jazz. Whether you enjoy one or the other, or both, you’ll feel satisfied.
> Buy the CD/download MP3 tracks from Amazon.com