Posts Tagged ‘ Déjà Vu ’

George Duke – Déjà Vu

His imposing appearance signals: George Duke is the heavyweight of contemporary jazz. His music is legend and inestimable. George has performed with the most important musicians of the last century and his spectrum ranges from jazz to funk, from soul to pop.

His previous album Dukey Treats (2008) was a funky mental, physical and spiritual healing. The return to the funny funk in the style of George Clinton’s Parliament. His new album Déjà Vu is another flashback to the sound of the past.

“The whole idea behind Déjà Vu was to take a look back at some of the stuff I used to do that was a little more musically challenging,” comments Duke. “In some way or another, whatever happened before always comes around again. It may be a little different, but it will resurface. That’s kind of what this album is – a resurfacing of some ideas I had back in the ‘70s when I recorded albums with a lot of synthesizers, like Feel and The Aura Will Prevail.

George Duke welcomes on his new album many great musicians of the smooth jazz scene like Michael Manson (bass), Paul Jackson (guitars), Ronald Brunner jr. (drums), Nicholas Payton (trumpet), Everette Harp (sax), Ray Fuller (guitar), Bob Sheppard (sax) and many more. He holds all cards in his hand with a full house.

The introducing track is simply entitled A Melody. Latin flavored in the good old fashion way singers Terry Dexter, Lynne Fiddmont, Lamont Van Hook and Shannon Pearson let it swing. George Duke’s sophisticated approach to the synthesizers speaks a lot about his deep masterly knowledge of these instruments.

Read more …

George Duke – Déjà Vu

When keyboardist-composer-producer George Duke made a return trip to the heyday of funk on his 2008 recording, Dukey Treats, he reminded his fans and the music press of exactly what made the good old stuff so good. DownBeat called it “a wild and crazy album, especially if you’re nostalgic about the guitar-scratching, double-clutching rhythms of James Brown and George Clinton and the bedroom ballads of Stevie Wonder and Aaron Neville.” The Philadephia Enquirer called it simply “a valentine to funk.”

Duke returns to that same wellspring for Déjà Vu. The album revisits the synthesizer sound that characterized some of his most memorable recordings from the golden age of funk and soul.

“The whole idea behind Déjà Vu was to take a look back at some of the stuff I used to do that was a little more musically challenging,” says Duke. “In some way or another, whatever happened before always comes around again. It may be a little different, but it will resurface. That’s kind of what this album is – a resurfacing of some ideas I had back in the ‘70s when I recorded albums with a lot of synthesizers, like Feel and The Aura Will Prevail.

Still, Déjà Vu does feature a few more shades of straight-ahead and contemporary jazz than its predecessor – as evidenced by fine guest performances throughout the record by trumpeter Nicholas Payton, flutist Hubert Laws and saxophonist Bob Sheppard. “These are three very strong instrumentalists,” says Duke. “We do it here just like we did in the old days. Everybody gets a shot at playing. It’s not just me playing a solo and then we take it out. I try to keep it a little more democratic. It’s the typical jazz scenario of the old days, where everybody gets to play.”

Déjà Vu is a glance back, but with a very contemporary sensibility – a piece of work that comes together very much in the present, but also conjures up a persistent feeling of something great that came before. “I’ve always considered myself a multi-stylistic artist,” says Duke. “I try to take people on a musical journey, whether it’s on an album or in a show. I think the style of music that you choose to play is really irrelevant, as long as you’re honest about what you’re trying to present.”

Source: Concord Records