Rest In Peace, George Duke

 

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Legendary keyboardist George Duke has passed at the age of 67. Left behind are over 30 solo albums and credit for creating bridges between Brazilian music, funk, R&B, and jazz. His work crossed several decades and included collaborations with Miles Davis, Anita Baker, Frank Zappa, Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight, and George Clinton – some of the very best

His work carried over the generations and has been sampled by Daft Punk, Common, Kanye West, MF Doom, Madlib, Pete Rock, Ice Cube, and A Tribe Called Quest.

In July of this year, Duke released a new album called DreamWeaver in memory of his wife who passed just over a year ago.

Duke and his ongoing contributions to music will be sorely missed.

Below, watch Duke perform one of our favorite tracks, “Dukey Stick,” with Sheila E in studio. After the jump, find rare footage of a full live show at the Montreux Jazz Festival with Billy Cobham.

Montreux Jazz Festival performance after the jump

Wayman Tisdale: The Fonk Record

Few people in the world get to have a wildly successful career, and by wild we mean lights, cameras and screaming fans. However Wayman Tisdale managed not only one, but 2 wildly successful careers. First as a star athlete and NBA players on several major leagues and then as a jazz recording artist/composer whose albums topped the jazz Billboard charts and crossed over to R&B. But that’s not all, before his untimely death Wayman was gearing up to show us yet another brilliant side of him: the funk master!

For 12 years Wayman had worked on a true labor of love, The Fonk Record, featuring collaborations from funk legends George Duke and George Clinton. His dream is finally realized today with the release of The Fonk Record out today via Mack Avenue Records.

Giant Step’s 20th Anniversary: Groove Academy Flyers (1990-1996)

This short video collage chronicles the shows and events from 1990 through 1996 of the company that preceded Giant Step: The Groove Academy. This is the first time that the flyers and posters of Groove Academy shows have been digitized.

The concept behind The Groove Academy was to give an opportunity for the masters of funk and groove to perform their craft in front of a young audience and new generation of fans as most only knew these artists from samples used in hip-hop and rap. At this time, many of the originators were in fact forgotten in the USA and had to go to Europe and Japan to make a living. The Groove Academy was determined to help re-launch careers in the States and give them their just props!

As time went on and Giant Step was born, The Groove Academy became the concert wing of the company and helped to introduce new artists. By the mid 1990s, The Groove Academy came to an end, putting all events under the unified umbrella of Giant Step.

Stay tuned for more memorabilia as we celebrate our 20th Anniversary and please share any memories, feedback, or your own photos from this historic time. To see the individual flyers and posters from this video, view the album on our facebook page.

New Big Boi Video featuring George Clinton

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It feels like we’ve been waiting for Sir Lucious Left Foot (Big Boi‘s upcoming album) for our entire lives. This video seems to indicate that we are getting closer to a full-length release, as well as George Clinton still being a crazy mess of colors, smoke, and funk.