Wednesday, June 11, 2008

George Duke - "The Dream" (1978)

I'm really pleased to have Ish from the fantastic ile oxumaré blog as guest poster today. If you don't know his blog, you must check it out, it's a treasure trove of all sorts of great music. He also runs the indispensable Strata-East Fan Club blog. I've often joked that we seem to have the same vinyl collection, and as it turned out, we needed both copies of the same rare one to get today's post happening.
... so over to you Ish :

(First let me say I'm honored to be a guest poster on Simon's blog. In my short life as a music blogger he's been one of my earliest and best readers over at Ile Oxumare: quick to comment, with useful info to add, and generous with his shares. I've been thrilled with his entry into the world of jazz blogs. I've heard some great music I hadn't known of here, and he's been energetic supplying background info and links to related sources. Bravo Simon! It took two continents to make this post: my vinyl had a series of hopeless skips on side one. Together courtesy of some wires strung between New York and Australia here you have it in one restored piece, a keyboard classic.)

George Duke recorded eight albums for the German label MPS. Six of them are well-known classics on the rare groove scene, and these have finally been put out on CD by a rejuvenated MPS imprint as a 4-disk collection. One of these - "The Inner Source" - you'll even find on this blog.
His first album, pre-electric and more or less disavowed by Duke himself as unlistenable, seems to be lost to the ages. I think I may have had a copy once but it didn't survive one of my great vinyl purges.

The eighth album—“The Dream”--got caught up in contract dispute as Duke moved on to the US imprint Epic, and to greater commercial style and success. MPS put it out against his wishes, and apparently without paying him for it. It received relatively limited circulation. By way of revenge, Duke reworked the album and reissued it in 1982, retitling it "The 1976 Solo Keyboard Album." One suspects Duke was using the recording as filler for his Epic contract, for he shortly after moved to Elektra, his albums becoming more smooth-R&B and less interesting.

Anyway in the liner notes to the 1982 version--which has been put out on CD--Duke states :

"This album is the last in a series of records I made for is my first and only solo record. It was originally recorded and mixed in 1976....The present album was remixed in 1980 with a few alterations at my recording studio, Le Gonks West....'Pathways' on the original recording was an acoustic piano improvisation. On this record I have added Prophet V synthesizer. All the other synthesizer work on this record was done in 1976 on arp odyssey and mini-moog synthesizers."

(The downloads include the later 1982 versions of "Pathways" and "Spock Gets Funky" for comparison).

Duke obviously fell in love with electric keyboards, His sound on the arp and minimoog is instantly recognizable on his solo albums and the dozens of albums for which he contributed, often under the nom-de-keys Dawilli Gonga. Making a solo album today is nothing--all you need is a mac and a copy of garage band. In 1976 it was a whole different story. There was no sampling. No flipping of a single on switch. Those synthesizers had to be taught to make those glorious sounds. Hearing this album you understand how seduced Duke got by later generations of keyboards. The less said about what happened to his music when he got into those perhaps the better.

Here. then, is “The Dream”!



George Duke - "The Dream"
MPS LP, cat. number 68183
Recorded 1976, released 1978


1 'Mr. McFreeze'
2 'Love Reborn'
3 'Tzina' (retitled in 1982 "Excerpts from the Opera Tzina")
4 'Spock Does the Bump at the Space Disco' (retitled in 1982 "Spock Gets Funky")
5 'Pathways'
6 'Vulcun Mind Probe' (1982 "Vulcun" respelled "Vulcan")
7 'The Dream That Ended'

Also included in downloads
"Pathways" and "Spock Gets Funky" from the 1982 release.


All compositions by George Duke, Mycenae Music / ASCAP

George Duke : keyboards, drums, bell tree, vocal
Recording Engineer : Kerry McNabb (Paramount Recording)
Producer : George Duke
Executive Producer : Baldhard Falk
Front Cover : Sätty
Photo : Baldhard Falk



Reza said...

Ah now I understand, owning the Solo Keyboard Album I didnt realise that this was its original title
Thanks for the cover shots Simon

Simon666 said...

Hi Reza -
It's worth grabbing the acoustic piano version of "Pathways", kinda nicer without the synth overdubs :

all the best,

ish said...

Glad to help out, Simon. I've linked this post up at my place.

Mark said...

Thanks for this treasure.

Calisan said...

Ohh my god! Thanks!!
This is one of the most unknown albums in this artwork only in Europe on MPS
Good work!

Gianni said...

wow, thanks simon!!!!

Jazz-Nekko said...


A big thanks to you and Ish for filling a small but long-sought gap in my Duke works. . .I had this in 320 but a horrible scratchy version.

You two are a good role model on how we jazz bloggers should cooperate to make full advantage of our resources. . .



alex said...

many thanks to ISH & SIMON!
this guy is a god to me!
you 2 guys have 2 of the best blogs on earth!

johnv said...

Thanks to Ish and Simon for this gem!

Dr. Johnny Fever said...

Simon and Ish, thanks so much for the great work on this colab. You just solved a piece of the George Duke puzzle for me. I love both of your blogs and wanted to invite you to check me out at my newly started one:

I've justed posted some nicely Rhodes tinged jazz this week that you guys might be into. Anyways, thanks again for this stellar post. Peace.....djf

Simon666 said...

Thanks guys. Linked you up Dr Fever!

oui said...

too bad i know, but according to ish'own philosophy (and smooth from myjazzworld's one), links could be removed because of:

emile63 said...

Big Thanks to Simon and Ish, was missing this George Duke from my collection, I have the Feel Album on MPS from 1974 if you need it . Simon great blog site, amazing postinging, keep up the great work it is truly appreciated.

Simon666 said...

Thanks for the comment emile63, glad you are enjoying it.

Also just confirming that this album is not included in that George Duke re-release package.

emile63 said...

Hi Simon, Just checked and discovered that "Feel" is part of the George Duke -"MPS Complete Re-Mastered Box Set" available on Amazon. Thus I will stay in line with the philosophy of the quality blog sites that ensure the artist receive their deserved royalities.

Simon666 said...

Hi emile -
thanks for getting back on that.
I'm definitely going to get that box set!
Although it doesn't have this album, it's got all the other good MPS ones.
As o the other Duke post, I'm going to leave the "Inner Source" MP3s up here as it's only a fifth of the set, so could really be considered as some sort of preview.

JJ said...

Thanks for another MPS gem

Simon666 said...

you're welcome JJ :)

See What I See said...

Thanks for sharing the album! I know you uploaded it ages ago but Im still digging through the archives... so much fresh music to be found.

Jon Laine said...

any chance of reupping this on? appreciate wav or mp3's! thanks!

Simon666 said...

Hi Jon - the WAV links are still active.

Jon Laine said...

OH SNAP!! Thanks Simon!!!!

Jeroen Jansen said...

Thanks so much, wonderful! Can I be invited to Ish's blog?

Simon666 said...

Glad you enjoyed it Jeroen. Ish's blog is not active.

Anonymous said...

Many Thanks!!!!