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George Duke

George Duke (January 12, 1946 – August 5, 2013) was an American musician, known as a keyboard pioneer, composer, singer and producer in both jazz and popular mainstream musical genres. (Source: Wikipedia.org)

A curious happenstance in 1966 triggered the partnership between MPS head Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer and George Duke. Brunner-Schwer was in San Francisco to record the Art van Damme Quintet. After finishing the recording session one evening, he and his team strolled over to a club called the Jazz Workshop. Les McCann was supposed to be playing, but this particular day was his day off. Instead, a 20 year old pianist, still involved in his studies, was performing with his quartet. The music’s freshness so enthralled the German that he set up a recording session on the spot. This encounter between George Duke and Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer in sunny California was both accidental and noteworthy. It turned out to be the jazzy prologue to future events: five years later the American began his fusion-infused sessions for the man from Germany’s Black Forest. These sessions are the theme of this box set with its seven LPs. Some 40 through 45 years after their initial releases, these albums still count as a fascinating and essential part of George Duke’s life’s-work and canon of the genre.