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Album Review

Cool is George Duke's sixth release for the Warner Brothers Jazz recording label and features 13 songs clad in situations actually encountered and lived by this giant of jazz, R&B, and pop. The Duke lifestyle makes a dramatic appearance through his richly textured vocal remembrances of his childhood on "Marin City" and spoken introductions that reflect the inner and ancestral sources that feed his soul and music on "Ancient Source." Duke displays the joyous, upbeat side of his musical personality on "If You Will," with the great Flora Purim in a lively samba with excellent piano styling and background vocals that include his son, Rashid Duke. The nucleus of this masterpiece is "The Times We've Known," a song Duke discovered when asked to do a tribute to Charles Aznavour. It is a beautiful, heartfelt experience featuring a gospel choir that heightens what Duke feels and says in a rousing finale. Cool is a CD filled with a diverse range of musical styles and expressions, and whether he is the lead vocalist, keyboardist, or providing background vocals, the master is the architect of funk, pop, Latin, gospel, blues, and R&B passion on this excellent musical mission. As composer, arranger, and musical director, George Duke maintains and elevates the styles and spirit of the House of Duke and works in brilliant collaboration with a support team of consummate artists like Leon "Ndugu" Chanceler, Philip Bailey, Tony Maiden, Chanté Moore, Paul Jackson, Jr., and the Perry Sisters: Lori, Sharon, Darlene, and Carolyn. So cool!

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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Cool, George Duke
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