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This image released by Heads Up International shows the cover art for "DreamWeaver," by George Duke.
Duke dead at 67: Musical legacy Keyboardist, arranger, composer, and producer George Duke wants to give people something to think about and ponder when they listen to his music. “The closest thing the Creator gives us to be God-like is the ability to write a song,” Duke said from his California home. “There is a pool of audio soup and we dip our fingers into it.”
Duke definitely gave his diehard fans and newcomers to his sound something to talk about and think about when he released Dreamweaver on the Heads Up label, a division of the Concord Music Group on July 16.
By his own admission, Dreamweaver is Duke’s most honest record to date. He wrote the songs for the disc after his wife, Corine, passed away. “It took me months to write the record. My mind was ready (for my wife’s passing). I knew it was coming, but my spirit had to process it,” Duke said.
To help with his grief, Duke set sail on a Capital Cruise with the intention of listening to the bands that were scheduled to perform on the ship, not to write music for new album. “For the first few days I just listened to the bands, but on the third days something happened. I returned to my cabin at 4 a.m. to watch the sun come up and I went on the deck and started writing,” Duke recalled. “I said ‘here are some awesome lyrics’ and I basically had the album written.”
Dreamweaver, which showcases Duke’s deft precision on various synthesizers, includes star musicians and singers like bassists Stanley Clarke and Christian McBride, singers Lalah Hathaway, Rachelle Ferrell, Jeffrey Osborne and the late Teena Marie; guitarists Paul Jackson, Jr. and the late Jef Lee Johnson. “This is the first album that I’ve done post wife. I believe she would be very proud of it,” Duke said.
Duke’s mother took him to jazz, classical and ballet concerts to help broaden his horizons and undoubtedly stir up his creativity. It worked. The Rafael, Calif., native was hooked after experiencing a performance by Duke Ellington. “I don’t really remember it, but I ran around the house saying get me a piano, get me a piano!” he said with a laugh.
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