[NEW RELEASES] DREAMWEAVER

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[NEW RELEASES] DREAMWEAVER

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DREAMWEAVER, George Duke, Label: Heads Up International, Genre: Jazz

George Duke was left devastated by the death of his wife, Corine, from cancer a year ago and was unable to make music for months, but the keyboardist and composer eventually overcame his grief to create an inspiring collection of mostly original compositions called “DreamWeaver.” He weaves together the eclectic threads of his 40-plus year musical career: acoustic jazz, electronic jazz-rock fusion, funk, R&B and soul.

The mid-tempo “Stones of Orion,” which pairs Duke on acoustic piano with longtime collaborator Stanley Clarke on upright bass, is a gently swinging modern jazz composition that recalls his early days with Cannonball Adderley’s band. Duke’s distinctive ability to make vintage synthesizers - the ARP Odyssey, Minimoog, clavinet and Prophet 5 - sound bluesy and funky comes through on the 15-minute “Burnt Sausage Jam.”

Duke expresses his love for his late wife on the tender, piano-driven ballad “Missing You,” a romantic vocal duet with Rachelle Ferrell. The album ends by turning the cowboy ballad “Happy Trails’’ - Dale Evans’ closing theme to “The Roy Rogers Show” - into a soulful, heartfelt farewell to his wife.

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