A Review of George Duke’s Dreamweaver

On July 16, 2013 Grammy Award Winning keyboardist and producer George Duke released Dreamweaver, a project that celebrates the life of his wife Corine. The album was released through Heads Up and it features 15 tracks that focus on Duke’s strengths as an instrumentalist, taking listeners on a tour of his diverse musical background.

The album opens with “Dreamweaver,” an otherworldly one-minute introduction to the album. “Stones of Orion,” a jazzy tune featuring flute and horns and the upright bass of Stanley Clarke follows with a spellbinding piano solo from George Duke.

“Trippin'” has a more urban, R&B feel and an intricate arrangement with muted trumpet, a few sax fills, and Duke’s vocals. The lyrics are autobiographical, detailing some of George Duke’s memories from growing up in the California Bay Area.

For “Ashtray,” Duke delves into funk with tasty synth and electric piano lines, slapped bass and a few fun background vocal parts. Along with “You Never Know,” this track is one of my favorites from the project.

George Duke frequently changes direction with this project, slowing things down for “Missing You,” then delivering a gospel-influenced message with “Change the World” before picking things back up with “Jazzmatazz.” He touches on the fusion genre with “Brown Sneakers” and “Burnt Sausage Jam” (a fifteen and a half minute musical feat), and then embraces country-blues with “Happy Trails,” keeping his listeners on their toes from start to finish.

In addition to the great talents of Mr. George Duke, Dreamweaver features an all-star cast of musicians. Christian McBride can be heard on “Burnt Sausage Jam,” Rachelle Ferrell on “Missing You” and even Teena Marie on “Ball & Chain,” one of the last tracks she recorded before her death in 2010. “Change the World” showcases Lalah Hathaway, Jeffrey Osborne, BeBe Winans, Freddie Jackson and Howard Hewett, among others. And, of course, we can’t forget Stanley Clarke.

George Duke led a successful career that spanned a variety of genres including funk, jazz, soul and R&B over the last several decades. Throughout his career he not only collaborated with other legendary perfumers such as Miles Davis, Barry Manilow, George Clinton, Frank Zappa, and Jill Scott, but built an incredible reputation for himself as an artist and composer. You can read more about George Duke as part of our Teen Jazz Legends series.

Get DreamWeaver on Amazon

Title: Dreamweaver
Artist: George Duke
Date: July 16, 2013
Genre: Jazz, R&B
Label: Heads Up

Tracks:

01 DreamWeaver
02 Stones Of Orion
03 Trippin’
04 AshTray
05 Missing You
06 Transition 1
07 Change The World
08 Jazzmatazz
09 Round the way girl
10 Transition 2
11 Brown Sneakers
12 You Never Know
13 Ball & Chain
14 Burnt Sausage Jam
15 Happy Trails

Get DreamWeaver on Amazon

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Published on: August 12, 2013

Filled Under: Reviews

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