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Face the Music

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iTunes Review

Because George Duke is famous for his extravagant explorations of keyboard electronics and special effects, the nakedness of 2002’s Face the Music is immediately striking. Though Duke breaks out his synthesizer arsenal for a few tracks, most of the album is played acoustically. The upright bass (played by Christian McBride) is particularly potent, given how infrequently it has appeared on Duke’s albums. It’s almost a show of strength on the part of the maestro, who seems to be demonstrating that he can still generate that famously greasy, hypnotically funky sound even when using strictly old-fashioned instruments. Tough, tight, and magnificently rotund, “Chillin’,” “Guess You’re Not the One," and “The Black Messiah, Pt. 2” resemble D’Angelo’s dark funk opus Voodoo (from 2000) more than any contemporary jazz albums. “Creepin’” is a winning callback to the silly-yet-heavy funk of Duke’s '70s glory days, but the album's heart is the ballad “Close to You.” Featuring a rare vocal performance from Duke himself, the song shows that the pianist’s sultry power isn't a put-on; it's the product of deeply honed musical muscle.

Customer Reviews

Face The Music

One of the best works George Duke has done. Christian McBride on Bass was an awsome choice.

Duke At His Best

This is a guy that does it all. Face the Music is one of his best work. McBride on the bass and the horn section are second to none. Modern jazz with a traditional-fusion feel. Black Messiah and Ten Mile Run are the gems on this LP.

Face the Music Yall!!!

This an album that is 11 songs strong. Everyone these song will go directly to the heart of a true jazz fan. George Duke is an awesome composer and songwriter. In my opinion every song is a slam dunk. I was certainly impressed to hear that Chris McBride played the upright bass on every song on this cd but one. That is working it. My Piano is so rich and deep with all the different rhythms. It sounds as if George Duke plays every note on the piano at least ten times throughout this song. The arrangement is absolutely excellent. There is so much music in this one song. George has fused together so many genres. This song will take you to up and set you back down again gently where it first began.


Born: January 12, 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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