August 28, 2010

George Duke - Deja Vu

Welcome to the latest issue of Denis Poole’s Secret Garden, the page that offers a personal perspective on the very best from the world of smooth jazz and classic soul. When George Duke released his 2008 album, Dukey Treats, it marked a return to the funk driven energy that made him a platinum-selling artist and commercial superstar. Duke stays with this theme for the brand new Déjà Vu which revisits the synthesizer sound that characterized his most memorable recordings. Although in comparison to its predecessor the CD features several more straight-ahead and contemporary influences, it nevertheless delivers a collection that will prove to be a ‘must have’ for George Duke fans everywhere.

The ability Duke has to call upon a wide range of supporting artists befits an industry legend who has been writing, producing and making music since the late sixties. For Déjà Vu he enlists the vocal magic of Lynne Fiddmont who enriches the Brazilian flavored ‘A Melody’ as only she can and the tune is further enhanced by great guitar from Paul Jackson Jr. Later, when Duke uses ‘Ripple in Time’ to honor the memory of Miles Davis, it is Oscar Brashear on trumpet who makes a significant contribution. Sax-man Everette Harp is also involved and he returns for the moody ‘What Goes Around Comes Around’ that despite smoky beginnings quickly erupts into a jazz drenched frenzy.

A delightful glimpse of Duke at his mellow best comes courtesy of the tranquil ‘Bring Me Joy’ while in similar vein is the stunningly wistful ‘Come To Me Now’. Clearly one of the album’s top tracks it is in the company of another Secret Garden favorite, the sensational ‘6 O’clock Revisited’. This terrific re-imagining of the classic ‘6 O’clock’ which first appeared on his 1992 project ‘Snapshot’ is brought entirely up to date by a distinctly urban groove and fresh vocals provided by Duke’s son Rashid. Quite simply it is among the best cuts of the year so far.

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Posted by Denis Poole at August 28, 2010 6:45 PM