I purchased this great set recently and for me it's worth every penny! I was familiar with the latter half of this collection as represented in the previously re-issued Three Originals 2-CD set. I had since parted with that set to earn a few bucks, so I was delighted to find this new MPS edition featuring six great Duke albums in one 4-CD package.
My Soul contains Duke's highly sought after Solus/Inner Source albums that were originally available on a two vinyl album set. The inclusion of these two albums alone make this edition worth the price. These records are all instrumental modern jazz recordings featuring Duke's straight ahead and more exploratory compositions. Solus, a trio session finds George playing both acoustic and electric piano backed by the rhythm section of John Heard and Dick Berk. Both join Duke for the follow up, The Inner Source which is augmented by trombone, trumpet and sax courtesy of Duke, Luis Grasca, and Jerome Richardson respectively. That's right, George played a little trombone back in the day.
Up next is an album recently re-issued separately. Faces In Reflection is Duke's first foray into synthesizers and a keyboard tour de force! For more on the music, check the reviews for this title.
The next album represented here is 1974's Feel. This is Duke's first fully realized conglomeration of funk/soul/pop/jazz. A trademark sound emerges here that would give George Duke the musical identity and accompanying audience he was searching for. The man had arrived. The Mother superior Frank Zappa performs a couple of heated guitar solos under an assumed name on two tracks.
This winning formula continues on the superb follow up, I Love The Blues, She Heard My Cry. A stronger effort all around chock full of virtuoso musicianship and memorable tunes. Duke employs the services of many great musicians including Emil Richards, Ruth Underwood, Lee Ritenour, Daryl Stuermer, and blues great Johnny Guitar Watson sitting in for the title track.
The set closes with the mid 70s releases The Aura Will Prevail, and Liberated Fantasies featuring more upbeat pop/funk/fusion nuggets. In addition to all of the great music, this collection comes complete with a booklet of photos and extensive liner notes. George Duke's personal reflections on all six albums included. All in all a superb re-issue package for the serious George Duke fan.