Saturday, May 31, 2008
Throughout the 1970s, George Duke continually redefined the way people used electric pianos and other keyboards. Like Joe Zawinul, Duke was an 'early adopter' of the Fender Rhodes, and when he took Zawinul's place in the Cannonball Adderley Quintet - just before this album was recorded in 1971 - he ferociously explored the instrument's sonic possibilities, manipulating echoplex and ring-modulation effects as if they were additional instruments in themselves - check "Manya" and "Nigerian Numberuma" on this album for examples, or check "Circumference" on Adderley's "Black Messiah"
Frank Zappa pushed him onto synthesisers, and Duke went on to release a successful series of albums that neatly straddled jazz, funk, soul and pop, often incorporating Brazilian harmonic structures and musicians. While some jazz piano players in the 70s simply translated their style onto either the Rhodes or electronic keyboards, George Duke continued to look at each one as a new instrument, incorporating the new possibilities into his compositional structures.
1971's "The Inner Source" on the MPS label is my favourite album by him - it's all Rhodes, Wurlitzer, brass and colour. Duke's written an extensive discography of his own albums, so we'll let him talk for this :
SOLUS (THE INNER SOURCE) (1971)
" This is a double album that originally was to be released separately. SABA records folded and became MPS, which is why the first album was delayed. As a result, the powers that be decided to release them as a double LP. However, for the purposes of these personal liner notes, I'll treat them separately, as they were intended.
The name for my first MPS record was to be called "SOLUS". The year was 1971 and I had joined The Cannonball Adderley Quintet (replacing Joe Zawinul). Three months into my gig with Cannon, I recorded this LP. I had already begun to experiment with the Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric pianos with Jean-Luc Ponty and Don Ellis, so I continued doing the same on this record. Joining me on this LP were John Heard bass, Dick Berk drums."
THE INNER SOURCE (1971)
"The interesting thing to me is, looking back, I can really hear a lot of growth in my piano playing from "SOLUS", to the second LP, "THE INNER SOURCE". I almost sound like a different piano player more confident with definitely stronger musical ideas. It was recorded in December 1971. I had been with Cannon for about 10 months. Boy, did I learn a lot. It seems I was beginning to find my own musical voice!
Besides John and Dick, Armando Perazza joined us on percussion. He was living in San Francisco and playing with Santana. Also on the date were Jerome Richardson on saxes and flute; Luis Gasca on trumpet and flugelhorn; James Leary on bass for one tune.
I feel I should mention that on all my LP's for SABA and MPS, that Baldhard G. Falk is listed as producer. I want to clear this up once and for all. He did NOT produce these recordings musically. He did keep track of the budget, pay the bills, secure the LP covers, etc. He's a great music lover that gave me my first shot, never got in the way musically, and was always extremely supportive. He was one of the good guys that was also supportive outside the music arena, and my mother liked him too.
I should also mention that I played Trombone on all the horn tunes. Overdubbing is a wonderful thing! From what I remember, this was the last time I played trombone, at least on record. Oh well, ta ta!"
01 Au-Right (3:27)
02 Love Reborn (7:25)
03 Peace (7:39)
04 So There You Go (5:18)
05 The Followers (5:15)
06 Solus (9:05)
07 Nigerian Numberuma (2:49)
08 My Soul (4:37)
09 The Inner Source (6:07)
10 Life (5:39)
11 Some Time Ago (5:00)
12 Feels So Good' (7:10)
13 Manya (3:26)
14 Sweet Bite (3:32)
15 Twenty-Five (4:54)
16 Always Constant (6:47)
Tracks 1-7 “SOLUS”
Piano, Electric Piano (Rhodes, Wurlitzer) - George Duke
Bass, Electric Bass - John Heard
Drums, Percussion - Dick Berk
Tracks 8-16 “THE INNER SOURCE”
Keyboards, Trombone, Conductor - George Duke
Congas - Armanda Peroza (tracks 8, 12)
Drums - Dick Berk (tracks 8, 12)
Electric Violin [Bass] - John Heard (tracks 8, 12)
Flugelhorn, Trumpet - Luis Gasca (tracks 8, 12)
Violin [Bass] - James Leary (track 15)
Saxophone [Tenor, Soprano], Flute - Jerome Richardson (tracks 8-9, 12, 16)
Producer - George Duke
(quoted on vinyl cover as Baldhard G. Falk, but see what George says above)
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