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George, you will be greatly missed!
on 5 October 2013
It is with deep sadness that I learned today of the death of George Duke last August from leukaemia, a little over a year after he lost his wife to cancer.
A Brazilian Love Affair is a fine album and a fitting tribute to the man and the musician. Duke had for several years worked with Brazilian artists Airto Moreira and Flora Purim and clearly loved Brazilian music. When he flew to Rio to record this ode to a country and a music he loved, he brought them with him to work alongside great Brazilian singer and songwriter Milton Nascimento. The music falls between at least three stools with strong funk elements that thankfully are always balanced with good taste, strong helpings of jazz, but enough music thanks very much to Nascimento's contribution to justify the use of the word `Brazil' in the record's title.
What shines from this record apart from Duke's love of Brazil, is the lushness and the real intelligence of Duke's arrangements, his virtuosity both as a player and producer, and the real empathy of all the players involved. The result is an album which so easily could have ended up badly with a lesser performers being little short of a triumph.
A very fine record indeed and, I'm sorry to have to put it this way, a fitting tribute to a man who will be sadly missed