Al Jarreau and George Duke were friends long before they became household names. They began playing together in the mid-1960's in San Francisco as Al Jarreau and the George Duke Trio. The successes of these performances are what helped to launch both their careers. George's tragic passing in August, 2013, inspired Al to record this loving tribute to his longtime friend. With the exception of the fitting title track composed by Jarreau, all the tunes were written by George. Guest artists/collaborators include Gerald Albright, Stanley Clarke, Dr. John, Lalah Hathaway, Boney James, Marcus Miller, Jeffrey Osborne, Kelly Price, Dianne Reeves and Patrice Rushen. There's even a song with George Duke playing on it!
Greatest Hits is a fine ten-track overview of the funk keyboardist's late-'70s/early-'80s recordings, containing all three of his Top Ten R&B hits ("Reach for It," "Dukey Stick," "Sweet Baby") plus a good selection of minor hits and album tracks.
Celebrated British bassist GEORGE ANDERSON leads an unusual dual musical life. He is, of course, best known for his work with smooth jazz icons Shakatak. He's a key member of the band – on the road and in the studio. George was also instrumental in co-writing many of Shakatak's best tunes ….most famously 'Day by Day' featuring Grammy award winner Al Jarreau. George was responsible too for co-writing the song 'Perfect Smile' which was a smooth-jazz radio play hit in the US for Shakatak in the 90's.
A brilliant player on both acoustic and electric basses, Stanley Clarke has spent much of his career outside of jazz, although he has the ability to play jazz with the very best. He played accordion as a youth, switching to violin and cello before settling on bass. He worked with R&B and rock bands in high school, but after moving to New York, he worked with Pharoah Sanders in the early '70s. George Duke showed a great deal of promise early in his career as a jazz pianist and keyboardist, but has forsaken that form to be a pop producer.
The only vocalist in history to net Grammy Awards in three different categories (jazz, pop, and R&B, respectively). Collection includes: We Got By (1975); Glow (1976); All Fly Home (1978); This Time (1980); Breakin' Away (1981); Jarreau (1983); High Crime (1984); L Is For Lover (1986); Heart's Horizon (1988); Blue Angel (1992) Single; Heaven and Earth (1992); Tenderness (1994)
Following two studio recordings, this impressive band hit the road and cut this session with keyboardist George Duke. Their encounter provided for an uneven, but infectious, recording. "Hip Pockets," composed by Cobham, and "Ivory Tattoo," composed by Scofield, begin the session with some intense playing. Things get a bit goofy with "Space Lady" (a song which probably worked better live), and a bit melodramatic with "Almustafa the Beloved."
One of contemporary music's premiere vocalists, Al Jarreau is the only singer ever to win GRAMMY® Awards in three distinct genre categories-R&B, pop, and jazz-a testament to his remarkable and enduring cross-over appeal. Jarreau's most recent GRAMMY came at the 2007 ceremony, when he was honored with Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance. With many of his biggest hits coming during his long Warner Bros. era, Jarreau's career now spans five decades-but until now, has not included a LOVE SONGS release among its wealth of treasures. Possessed of a voice suited to the rhythm of romance and language of the heart, Jarreau's genius shines on this stirring collection.