George Duke - Master of the Game (Music CD)

Release Date: 24 October 2011
Artist: George Duke
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Although George Duke first made his mark as a jazz instrumentalist, late-1970s classics like Reach for It, Don't Let Go, and Follow the Rainbow made it clear that he could also be an expressive R&B singer. But he didn't want to handle all of the lead vocals himself; so during that period, his role was that of a producer/keyboardist/songwriter who was more than happy to share the lead vocals with Lynn Davis, Josie James, and others. Davis enjoyed a lot of exposure on R&B stations when, in 1979, Duke featured her on "I Want You for Myself," the haunting single that made Master of the Game one of his best-selling albums. Her charismatic performance makes the listener wonder why she never had a solo career; the talent was certainly there. This album contains a few jazz fusion instrumentals (including the Latin-flavored "Dog-Man"), but it's an R&B release first and foremost -- and those who like Duke as an R&B artist will find this album to be enjoyable, if less than essential. "I Want You for Myself" and the mellow, Stylistics-influenced "Every Little Step I Take" are gems, but most of the other selections are merely decent instead of excellent. On the whole, this album isn't in a class with Reach for It, Don't Let Go, or Follow the Rainbow, which are arguably his most essential R&B-oriented albums. But it has more pluses than minuses and is worth having in your collection if you're a serious fans of Duke's late 1970s/early 1980s output. ~ Alex Henderson
Release Date: 24 October 2011
Artist: George Duke

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Catalogue No: SMCR5030