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Don't Let Go

George Duke

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Album Review

With a hot funk band and a big hit, "Reach for It," behind him, George Duke appears mostly in his persona as R&B star on this ebullient package of sometimes Latin-inflected '70s funk. The centerpiece is a self-parodic bit of shuck and jive called "Dukey Stick," which became a number four hit single on the R&B charts (at his gigs, Duke used to flaunt a gaudy, lit-up, perhaps phallic wand, the "Dukey stick," during this number). The percussion section is pretty potent, staffed by Leon "Ndugu" Chancler and Sheila Escovedo in her pre-pop star days; they even get a Latin workout of their own simply titled "Percussion Interlude." While some of Duke's considerable keyboard and electronic prowess breaks through now and then, this album is mainly aimed at the R&B market, as the preponderance of soul vocals indicates. As such, it is a cut or two above the routine fare of the time, though not as infectious as its predecessor Reach for It. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Biography

Born: 12 January 1946 in San Rafael, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

George Duke was an accomplished keyboardist, producer, arranger, bandleader, and composer. He was successful in both popular music and jazz, and straddled both sides of that aisle for most of his career. Duke grew up in Marin City, California, and in high school played in his first jazz group. His early influences were Miles Davis, Les McCann, and Cal Tjader, all of whom played a role in the diversity of his composing, playing, and arranging. After graduating from high school, he attended the San...
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Don't Let Go, George Duke
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