Sunday, April 13, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-George Duke

Artist:George Duke
Song:Reach For It
Album:Greatest Hits

Though George Duke cut a wide swath of musical influence as a musician and producer, he decided to take over funk music in the late 70s with Reach For It. It was a top five R & B hit. He was born Jan. 12, 1946 in San Raphael, CA. Duke made his name in the late 60s and into the 70s recording first with French violinist Jean Luc Ponty and then with Frank Zappa. He also toured with drummer Billy Cobham as The Billy Cobham-George Duke Band. Then Duke signed with Epic Records and went away from jazz and into funk with the 1978 album Reach For It. The album Reach For It reached #25 on the Billboard Hot 200 and the single Reach For It reached #2 on the R & B Singles chart. Jazz fans were unhappy with Duke but his funk experiment was successful so it continued into the early 80s. Reach For It featured veteran session singers Deborah and Sybil Thomas along with veteran funkmeisters Charles Icarus Johnson on guitar, Byron Miller on bass and Leon "Ndugu" Chancler on drums. Other George Duke hit singles from the era include Dukey Stick and Sweet Baby. This budget comp covers that period. George Duke continued to record jazz albums and record as a sideman and produce other artists for many years until his death on Aug. 5, 2013 at age 67. But I guess he wanted to prove he could take over R & B and funk whenever he wanted. He did exactly that. Here's George Duke performing Reach For It.

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