George Duke – 1977 – Reach for it

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In memory of George Duke (January 12, 1946 – August 5, 2013)

This is George Duke at his Absolute Best!!! But you gotta take the trip with him from “The beginning“, through “Lemme at it” and “Hot Fire“. By the time you get to “Reach For It“, you’re ready to get the party started.

After a short intro the record kicks in with “Lemme At It” which is a funk/R&B style with some jazz added in. Dynamite lead guitar playing and then George Duke takes the second solo with keyboards and synth. Most of this disc is sophisticated funk with an incredible group of musicians. “Reach For It” and “Watch Out Baby” are very much like FUNKADELIC/PARLIAMENT records from that time. The track “Omi (Fresh Water)” and “Hot Fire” feature plenty of percussion and more hot guitar playing. The closing track, “Diamonds” continues in a latin-percussion style similar to Santana. A real treat for musicians or for people who enjoy funk/R&B. George Duke gets lowdown and funky with his synth.

Tracks
A1 The Beginning 1:50
A2 Lemme at It 4:16
A3 Hot Fire 5:31
A4 Reach for It 4:53
A5 Just for You 4:27
B1 Omi (Fresh Water) 4:50
B2 Searchin’ My Mind 3:41
B3 Watch Out Baby! 5:23
B4 Diamonds 6:45
B5 The End 1:06

Keyboardist Duke, after stints with Billy Cobham, Cannonball Adderly, Jean-Luc Ponty, Frank Zappa (to stunning effect), and Don Ellis’s big band, graduated with this varied 1977 program to jazz-fusion star status. The recording features popish jazz grooves with plenty of spikes inlaid, including rock-solid and heavy fusion, ’70s funk, love-lorn ballads, and sections of bristling ensemble playing. One can hear what it was that Zappa liked in the eclecticist Duke: raw-nerved electronic keyboards with shifting rhythms and a sense of the funk, fun, and burlesque that Zappa relished. Especially deserving of mention among Duke’s band members are searing guitarist Charles Icarus Johnson, thudding bassist Byron Miller, and drummer Leon Ndugu Chancler–propulsive, rapid-fire, time- and shape-shifting. But they all got the funk. –Peter Monaghan

The classic title song with it’s loose, live-in-the-studio raps and Stanley Clarke‘s THUMPASAURUS bass on the ultra-funky vamp “Watch Out, Baby” are worth the price of admission alone. But we’ve also got the Afro-Cuban influenced “Hot Fire“, the heavy latin-funk sounds of “Omi (Fresh Water)” and the pure bombastic fusion of “Lemme At It”. Despite it’s availability “Reach for It” is still pretty much early, fiery George Duke-before mushy ballads took over, even on pure pop-R&B crooning like “Just For You” and the funky pop of “Searchin’ My Mind“.

Although this is excellent through and through I still suggest Duke’s BASF/MPS recordings in the mid 70’s (such as “Liberated Fantasies”) as good reference points-all those albums are only available on vinyl but worth
searching for.

Look for those but buy this too-it’s fantastic! (Andre’ S Grindle)

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Thanks to its multitudinously funky title track, scalding Latin jams and a ballad “Just for You,”Reach for It went to #25 Pop and #4 R&B but never made the Billboard Jazz album chart. “This was my biggest selling solo record,” Duke writes. “When it went Gold, I nearly had a heart attack!”

We toured all of ’77 and part of ’78 and were considered the new young hot R&B/Funk/Jazz group,” his notes continue. “We toured with all the major R&B acts of the time, but were musically doing something quite different with a distinct progressive jazz flavor”.

 

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Conversation for album: George Duke – 1977 – Reach for it

24 Comments
  • Mcz
    Posted at 15:59h, 12 August 2013 Reply

    Yes! FLAC format finaly, many many thanks!

  • Maxrym
    Posted at 18:21h, 12 August 2013 Reply

    A Simple Thank You…

  • Maxmyrh
    Posted at 18:22h, 12 August 2013 Reply

    A Simple Thank You…

  • Marcin
    Posted at 18:38h, 12 August 2013 Reply

    Great post, thank you! Rest In Paradise George Duke…

  • rich
    Posted at 19:52h, 12 August 2013 Reply

    thank u nikos

  • Ulrich
    Posted at 20:33h, 12 August 2013 Reply

    Sir Duke is awesome.

  • Jazzhoppa
    Posted at 06:39h, 13 August 2013 Reply

    Thank you very much. i as well made a tribute to george in my blog.. http://242east3rd.blogspot.com/ REST IN PEACE GEORGE!!!

  • TEm
    Posted at 09:21h, 13 August 2013 Reply

    the rhodes-master´s gone…

  • Alexander
    Posted at 09:22h, 13 August 2013 Reply

    Genius!

  • Ace Ha
    Posted at 18:46h, 13 August 2013 Reply

    God bless and keep George Duke. What an amazing artist. We’ll miss him! Thanks for continuing this wonderful blog..

  • Rich
    Posted at 08:39h, 14 August 2013 Reply

    Thanks alot for this

  • Ramires
    Posted at 12:29h, 15 August 2013 Reply

    absolutely beautiful. thank you 🙂

  • Petra
    Posted at 18:32h, 15 August 2013 Reply

    Amazing artist.Rip.

  • Oak
    Posted at 09:27h, 16 August 2013 Reply

    timeless..rest in peace.

  • Cesare
    Posted at 09:52h, 16 August 2013 Reply

    grandissimo

  • Rene
    Posted at 00:36h, 17 August 2013 Reply

    I absolutely love this! Listen to it often!

  • Elina
    Posted at 11:18h, 17 August 2013 Reply

    Good memories… I was 12 years old

  • Lukas
    Posted at 12:56h, 17 August 2013 Reply

    Excellent! Thank you.

  • Dino
    Posted at 22:37h, 18 August 2013 Reply

    Master of Funk.

  • Scott
    Posted at 13:39h, 19 August 2013 Reply

    Love it.

  • Antony11
    Posted at 09:36h, 20 August 2013 Reply

    Duke was a master synths. Great funk here.

  • Duck
    Posted at 10:33h, 23 August 2013 Reply

    RIP and thank u for all the great tunes !!

  • Dionne
    Posted at 11:29h, 25 August 2013 Reply

    Classy!!!!!

  • Faab
    Posted at 12:23h, 08 May 2015 Reply

    I Often listen to it since 1977;The Flac Post is so cool.Thanks Nikos

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