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Archive for January 18th, 2012

Epic Jazz and Funk: George Duke and Stanley Clarke Complete Boxes Coming Soon

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With the latest two additions to its growing Complete Albums Collections roster, Legacy Recordings and Epic Records are looking to two musical pioneers for which the description “jazz artist” seems largely inadequate.  George Duke, keyboard virtuoso, and Stanley Clarke, electric and acoustic bass pro, have extensively toured and recorded together, but these forthcoming box sets turn the clock back to their solo periods on the Epic label.

George Duke has proven himself equally adept at jazz, funk, R&B and pop, but over a lengthy career, he’s refused to be boxed in by any single genre.  Duke’s name might have first resonated with rock fans when he collaborated with Mothers of Invention leader Frank Zappa on a number of the singular artist’s best-remembered albums (Waka/Jawaka, The Grand Wazoo, Apostrophe) between 1969 and 1975.  Duke’s early joint effort with another friend of Zappa, the violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, made for a well-received entry in the world of early jazz-rock fusion.  After a long stint on the European MPS label as leader, Duke signed with Epic in 1977 where he scored crossover hits with the funk-infused “Reach for It” and “Dukey Stick.”  The 6-CD Complete 1970s Epic Albums Collection of The George Duke Band presents Duke’s first six albums for the label, including From Me To You (1977), Reach For It (1977), Don’t Let Go (1978), Follow The Rainbow (1979), Master Of The Game (1979) and Brazilian Love Affair (1980).  As is customary for these sets, all albums are presented in mini-LP replica sleeves, and Duke himself has written a 4,000-word note exploring each album in detail.  These are the albums from the fertile time in which Duke allowed all of his influences to flower, for a true fusion of jazz, blues, soul, funk and disco.

Hit the jump for the scoop on Stanley Clarke: The Complete 1970s Epic Albums Collection, plus track listings with discographical information for both sets! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

January 18, 2012 at 10:59