Jazz Pioneer George Duke Dies at 67
George Duke passed away on Monday at L.A.‘s St. John’s Hospital. The composer, songwriter, singer and keyboard virtuoso was 67.
With a discography and career spanning more than 40 years, the formally-trained Duke dabbled in various genres, from jazz to popular music, throughout his career, and collaborated with jazz and avant-garde greats like Don Ellis, Cannonball Adderley and Frank Zappa. In addition, Duke produced a few tracks for Miles Davis (“Cobra,” “Backyard Ritual”) and composed music for several films.
One of Duke’s first albums, The Jean-Luc Ponty Experience with the George Duke Trio, explored a number of different styles, and is considered one of the first works of jazz-fusion.
Before his death, Duke finished the jazz-fusion/soul album DreamWeaver, his first work following his wife’s death from cancer last year. He was in the process of promoting the album before his passing yesterday.
You can watch some footage of Duke performing with Zappa, as well as a clip of him playing with the Billy Cobham-George Duke Band here.