George Duke – Dreamweaver

July 19, 2013 / No Comments / Tags: Dreamweaver, george duke, Jef Lee Johnson, Jeffrey Osborne, Lori Perry, Phil Perry, Rachelle Ferrell, stanley clarke,

(Concord Records)

It would be perfectly understandable if pianist, composer and producer George Duke didn’t make a record for awhile, having experienced the death of his wife of 40 years, Corine, just a year ago. It would also be understandable if the record he eventually made were somber in tone, but Duke’s latest recording Dreamweaver is anything but sedate, instead it’s a celebration. On many of the tunes, Duke goes back to the kind of synthesizer playing that he became noted for and stretches out for some amazing solos. In fact, on many of the tunes, he and his fellow musicians ride the groove for extended periods. He also enlists some of the talents we’ve heard on many of his projects over the years such as Stanley Clarke, Jeffrey Osborne, Phil Perry, Rachelle Ferrell and Lori Perry. There are also tremendous contributions from artists a bit newer to the fold, including bassist Christian McBride, drummer Lil’ John Roberts, trumpet player “Michael Patches” Stewart and saxophonist Kamasi Washington. Guitarist Jef Lee Johnson, who passed away in January 2013, also performs on the project, which also includes a track featuring Teena Marie, with whom Duke worked prior to her passing in 2010. There are a couple of tunes inspired by and dedicated to his late wife, but in that regard, and beyond, this record is as joyous as we’ve come to expect of a George Duke production, and as much about great musicianship, as it is a testament to music’s healing powers.

Click to listen to a clip of “Trippin’ “:

Tracks: Dreamweaver, Stones of Orion, Trippin’, Ashtray, Missing You, Transition 1, Change The World, Jazzmatazz, Round The Way Girl, Transition 2,  Brown Sneakers, You Never Know, Ball and Chain, Burnt Sausage Jam, Happy Trails .