george duke
(* January 12, 1946, San Rafael, CA, USA, + August 5, 2013, Los Angeles, CA, USA)

Duke studied the piano at school (where he ran a Les McCann -inspired Latin band) and emerged from the San Francisco Conservatory as a Bachelor of Music in 1967. From 1965-67 he was resident pianist at the Half Note, accompanying musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie and Kenny Dorham. This grounding served as a musical education for the rest of his life. He arranged for a vocal group, the Third Wave, and toured Mexico in 1968.

In 1969 he began playing with French violinist Ponty, Jean-Luc, using electric piano to accompany Ponty's plugged-in violin. He played on King Kong, an album of music of Frank Zappa composed for Ponty. He then joined Zappa's group in 1970, an experience that transformed his music. As he put it, previously he had been too 'musically advanced' to play rock 'n' roll piano triplets. Zappa encouraged him to sing and joke and use electronics. Together they wrote 'Uncle Remus' for Apostrophe (1972), a song about black attitudes to oppression. His keyboards contributed to a great edition of the Mothers Of Invention- captured on the outstanding Roxy & Elsewhere (1975) - which combined fluid jazz playing with rock and avant garde sonorities.

 In 1972 he toured with Cannonball Adderley (replacing Joe Zawinul). Duke had always had a leaning towards soul jazz and after he left Zappa, he went for full-frontal funk. I Love The Blues, She Heard My Cry (1975) combined a retrospective look at black musical forms with warm good humour and freaky musical ideas; a duet with Johnny Guitar Watson was particularly successful. Duke started duos with fusion power-drummer Cobham, Billy, and virtuoso bassist Clarke, Stanley, playing quintessential 70s jazz rock - amplification and much attention to 'chops' being the order of the day.

Duke always had a sense of humour: 'Dukey Stick' (1978) sounded like a Funkadelic record.  The middle of the road beckoned, however, and by Brazilian Love Affair (1979) he was merely providing high-class background music. In 1982 Dream On showed him happily embracing west-coast hip easy listening. However, there has always been an unpredictable edge to Duke. The band he put together for the Wembley Nelson Mandela concert in London backed a stream of soul singers, and his arrangement of 'Backyard Ritual' on Miles Davis 's Tutu (1986) was excellent. He collaborated with Clarke again for the funk-styled 3 and in 1992 he bounced back with the jazz fusion Snapshot, followed by the orchestral suite Enchanted Forest in 1996, and Is Love Enough? in 1997.

October 31, 2009, George Duke did a concert with the Dutch Metropole Orkest in Amsterdam, NL. The concert also featured Napoleon Murphy Brock and Izaline Calister (as guests).
One day earlier, George Duke and Napoleon Murphy Brock did a little (free) concert at the 'Club Panema' in Amsterdam.

August 2, 2012, George Duke and Jean-Luc Ponty performed at the Zappanale festival in Bad Doberan, Germany, as The Brothers Of Invention. They played original compositions and some Zappa pieces.

the below picture shows (former Arf Society president) Thomas Dippel and George Duke after the concert George Duke did with the Metropole Orkest in Amsterdam on 2009/10/31. 



George passed away on August 5, 2013. He was being treated for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.





1 george duke: presented by the jazz workshop 1966 of san francisco (1)
    (1966, lp, ??,  saba sb 15074)
  1967 henderson, joe- milestone years    
2 george duke: save the country (2)
    (1969, lp, usa, pacific jazz ln-10127) - feat. glenn ferris

1969 jones, quincy- i heard that!

  1969 jean-luc ponty- experience   
  1969 jean-luc ponty- electric connection  
  1969 jean-luc ponty- live at donte's  
  jean-luc ponty: king kong  (5)
    (1970, lp, usa, world pacific jazz st 20172) – incl. various frank zappa compositions


frank zappa: chunga's revenge
   (1970, lp, usa, bizarre)

  1971 otis, shuggie- freedom flight  


frank zappa: 200 motels
   (1971, 2lp, usa, united artists)

fz013v.jpg (37378 bytes)

  cannonball adderley: the black messiah
    (1971, lp, usa, capitol)  - feat. george duke
  1972 adderley, cannonball- music you all  


frank zappa: waka/jawaka
   (1972, lp, usa, bizarre)


the mothers: the grand wazoo
   (1972, lp, usa, bizarre)
  1973 ammons, gene- brasswind  
  1973 jones, quincy- you've got it, bad girl   


the mothers: over-nite sensation
   (1973, lp, usa, discreet)
  1973 henderson, joe- canyon lady  
  1973 purim, flora- butterfly dreams  
  1973 williams, joe- joe williams live  
3 george duke: the inner source
    (1973, 2lp, usa,  mps records 2920912-1)

1974 adderley, nat- double exposure

  1974 cobham, billy- crosswinds  
  1974 adderley, cannonball- pyramid  


frank zappa: apostrophe (')
   (1974, lp, usa, discreet)


zappa / mothers: roxy & elsewhere
   (1974, 2lp, usa, discreet)

  1974 purim, flora- stories to tell  
  1974 ellis, herb- soft shoe  
  1974 ellis, herb- after you've gone  
  davil axelrod: heavy axe
    (1974, lp, usa, ??) - feat. george duke, jay migliori, johnny guitar watson
4 george duke: faces in reflection (4)
    (1974, lp, ??, mps records 2122018-4)

1975 henderson, eddie- sunburst

  1975 adderley, cannonball- phenix  


frank zappa and the mothers of invention: one size fits all
   (1975, lp, usa, discreet)


zappa / beefheart / mothers: bongo fury
   (1975, lp, usa, discreet)

  1975 clarke, stanley- journey to love   
  1975 rollins, sonny- nucleus  
  1975 tjader, cal- amazonas  
5 george duke: feel
    (1975, lp, ger, mps 2122312-4) -  feat. obdewl'x (frank zappa) - re-released on cd in 2008

6 george duke: the aura will prevail
    (1975, lp, usa, mps mc 25613) - incl. ‘echidna's arf’,’uncle remus’ (frank zappa) ; feat. napoleon murphy brock

  the brecker brothers: collection volume one
    (1975, lp, usa, arista) = compilation

1976 cobham, billy- live' on tour in europe

  billy cobham: life and times
    (1976, lp, usa, atl sd18166) - feat. allan zavod and george duke
  1976 purim, flora- open your eyes  
  1976 purim, flora- encounter  
  1976 clarke, stanley- school days  
  pete magadini: polyrhythm
    (1976, lp, can, briko records) - feat. george duke
7 george duke: i love the blues, she heard my cry
    (1976, lp, usa, mps) - feat.bruce fowler, johnny "guitar" watson, ruth underwood
  the brecker brothers: collection volume two
    (19??, lp, usa, rca) = compilation
8 george duke: liberated fantasies (8)
    (1976, lp, ??, mps records) - feat. napoleon murphy brock & ruth underwood
  raul de souza: sweet lucy
    (1977, lp, usa, ??) - feat. george duke, ian underwood, kerry mcnabb

1977 bridgewater, dee dee- just family

  1977 montreux summit vol.1    
  1977 rollins, sonny- easy living  
  1977 watanabe, sadao- bird of paradise  
9 george duke: from me to you (9)
    (1977, lp, ??, epic records pe 34469) -  feat.walt fowler
10 george duke: reach for it (10)
    (1977, lp, ??, epic records epc 82216)
  various artists: rock around the world #199 (radio show)
    (1978, lp-promo, usa, rock around the world) - feat. an interview with george duke / incl. 'fifty-fifty', 'be-bop tango' and 'inca roads', broadcast on 1978/05/28

raul de souza: don't ask my neighbors
    (1978, lp, usa, ??) - feat. george duke, kerry mcnabb

  1978 purim, flora- everyday, everynight   
  1978 white, michael [violin]- x factor  
  1978 hitter- hitter  (producer)  
  1978 montreux summit, vol. 2  


frank zappa: studio tan
   (1978, lp, usa, discreet)

11 george duke: don't let go (11)
    (1978, lp, ??, epic records epc 82821) -  feat.napoleon murphy brock
12 george duke: the dream (12)
    (1978, lp, ??, mps records 5d064-60327)
  george duke: rock around the world
    (1978, lp, usa, ratw 199) = sampler  //  – incl. ??  (frank zappa)

1979 bridgewater, dee dee- bad for me

  1979 moreira, airto- touching you...touching me  
  1979 hubbard, freddie- skagly  
  1979 cobham, billy- b.c.  
  1979 jackson, michael- off the wall  


frank zappa: sleep dirt
   (1979, lp, usa, discreet)

  frank zappa: sleep dirt (25)
   (1979, lp, usa, discreet)
  1979 clarke, stanley- i wanna play for you  
  george duke: star edition
    (1976, 2lp, germany, mps) - incl. 'echidna's arf (of you)' (frank zappa)
13 george duke: follow the rainbow (13)
    (1979, lp, usa, epic pe 35701)
14 george duke: master of the game (14)
    (1979, lp, ??)

georgeduke_masterofthegame.jpg (33352 bytes)


1980 perry, phil- heart of the man

  george duke: star edition
    (19??, lp, ger, mps 0088.047) = sampler  //   – incl. ‘echidna's arf’ (frank zappa)
  1980 jarreau, al- this time  
  1980 benson, george- give me the night  
  1980 rollins, sonny- love at first sight  
  1980 brecker brothers- detente (producer)  
15 george duke: brazilian love affair (15)
    (1980, lp, ??)

georgeduke_abrazilianloveaffair.jpg (19340 bytes)


1981 clarke/duke project

  1981 jarreau, al- breakin' away  
  1981 clarke, stanley- clarke/duke project, vol. 1  
  david sanborn: as we speak
    (1981, lp, usa, warner brothers) - feat. george duke, robert martin

davidsanborn_aswespeak.jpg (12709 bytes)

  1982 franklin, aretha- jump to it  
  1982 osborne, jeffrey- jeffrey osborne  
16 george duke: dream on (16)
    (1982, lp, ??, epic records epc 85215)
  george duke: the 1976 solo keyboard album
    (1982, lp, europe, epic) = re-issue of "the dream" (1978)

1983 clarke-duke project 2

  1983 rufus- seal i red (producer)  
  1983 sembello, michael- bossa nova hotel  
  1983 bailey, philip- continuation  
  1983 osborne, jeffrey- stay with me tonight  
  1983 ponty, jean-luc- individual choice  
  1983 subramaniam, l.- spanish wave  
  1983 clarke, stanley- clarke/duke project, vol. 2 (producer)  
17 george duke: guardian of the light (17)
    (1983, lp, ??)

1984 shalamar- heartbreak

  1984 williams, deniece- let's hear it for the boy   


frank zappa: them or us
   (1984, 2lp, usa, barking pumpkin)

  1984 footloose- footloose    
  1984 clarke, stanley- time exposure  
18 george duke: rendezvous (18)
    (1984, lp, nl, epic 26059)

1985 bailey, philip- wonders of his love (producer)

  1985 manchester, melissa- mathematics  
19 george duke: thief in the night (19)
    (1985, lp, ger, elektra 960 398-1)

1986 bofill, angela- best of angela bofill (producer)

  1986 hewett, howard- i commit to love    
  1986 frank zappa- apostrophe/over-nite sensation    
  1986 miles davis- tutu    
20 george duke: george duke (20)
    (1986, lp, ger, elektra 960 480-1) -  feat. napoleon murphy brock

1987 earth, wind & fire- touch the world

  1987 vaughan, sarah- brazilian romance  
  1987 cobham, billy- picture this  
  1987 mills, stephanie- if i were your woman  
  1987 hiroshima- go  
  1987 scofield, john- loud jazz  
  1987 watanabe, kazumi- birds of passage  
  1988 baker, anita- giving you the best that i got  
  1988 jackson, paul jr.- i came to play  
  1988 williams, deniece- as good as it gets  
  frank zappa: the guitar world according to frank zappa
    (1987, mc, usa, ??)
  1988 frank zappa- you can't do that on stage anymore (sampler)    
51 frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.1
   (1988, 2cd, usa, ryko)

52 frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.2
   (1988, 2cd, usa, ryko)
  1988 jarreau, al- heart's horizon  
  1988 knight, gladys- all our love  
  1988 djavan- bird of paradise  
  1988 clarke, stanley- if this bass could only talk  
  1989 karate kid 3 (producer)  
  1989 labelle, patti- be yourself  
54 frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.3
   (1989, 2cd, usa, ryko)
  1989 wilson, nancy- nancy now!  
  1989 davis, miles- amandla  
  1989 klugh, earl- whispers and promises  
  1989 watanabe, sadao- selected  
  1989 howard, george- personal  
21 george duke: night after night (21)
    (1989, lp, ??)

1990 bailey, philip- inside out


1990 jackson, paul jr.- out of the shadows


1990 reeves, dianne- never too far 


1990 clarke, stanley- 3


1990 cooper, craig t.- got that thang


1990 watanabe, sadao- front seat  (arranger, vocals (bckgr),producer, synclavier)


1990 laws, hubert- my time will come


1991 north, lol- forever yours


1991 jaye, miles- strong


frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.4
   (1991, 2cd, usa, ryko)


1991 isley brothers- tracks of life


1991 five heartbeats  (arranger, vocals, producer)


1991 reeves, dianne- dianne reeves

  chester thompson: a joyful noise
    (1991, cd, usa, blue moon / moo records r2 79341) - feat.charles owens, walt fowler, steve fowler, bruce fowler and george duke
  frank zappa: freaks & motherfu****
    (1991, cd, usa, rhino foo-eee records r2 70539)

zappa / mothers: unmitigated audacity
    (1991, cd, usa, rhino foo-eee records r2 70540)

  frank zappa: piquantique
    (1991, cd, usa, rhino foo-eee records r2 70544)

zappa / mothers: disconnected synapses
    (1991, cd, usa, rhino foo-eee records r2 71017)


zappa / mothers: tengo na minchia tanta
    (1991, cd, usa, rhino foo-eee records r2 71018)


frank zappa: at the circus
    (1991, cd, usa, rhino foo-eee records r2 71020)

fooeeerecordsr271020_c.jpg (127542 bytes)
22 george duke: snapshot
    (1992, cd, ??, ??)

1992 sister sledge- best of sister sledge (1973-1985) (producer)


1992 najee- just an illusion


frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.6
   (1992, 2cd, usa, ryko)


1992 ferrell, rachelle- rachelle ferrell (producer)


1992 love songs- love songs [sony]


1992 moore, chante- precious  (organ, synthesizer, bass, percussion, piano, strings,


     drums, horn, french horn, keyboards, bells, produ)


frank zappa: playground psychotics
   (1992, 2cd, usa, ryko)


1992 leap of faith- leap of faith (producer)


1992 passenger 57- passenger 57


1992 harp, everette- everette harp (producer)


1992 howard, george- love and understanding 


1993 meteor man- meteor man


1993 jackson, paul jr.- river in the desert


1993 howard, george- when summer comes


1993 clarke, stanley- east river drive


1993 ponty, jean-luc- jean-luc ponty with the george duke


1993 washington, keith- you make it easy

  george duke: three originals
    (1993, cd, ger, mps 519198-2) = sampler  //   - incl. ‘echidna's arf’,’uncle remus’ (frank zappa)


1994 winbush, angela- angela winbush


1994 harp, everette- common ground


1994 baker, anita- rhythm of love (percussion)


1994 knight, gladys- just for you  (keyboards, drum programming)


1994 reeves, dianne- quiet after the storm (piano, arranger, producer, synclavier)


1994 scofield, john- liquid fire: the best of john scofi


1994 purim, flora- now go ahead & open your eyes


1994 george duke- three originals


george duke: illusions
    (1995, cd, ??, ??)


1995 hewett, howard- it's time


1995 esquire jazz collection: crosstown


1995 dells passionate breezes: the best of the (producer, vocal arrangements)


1995 winans heart & soul 


1995 jazz to the world jazz to the world


1995 between the sheets, vol. 2 (producer)


1995 najee- songs from the key of life


1995 escovedo, pete- flying south


1995 scott, marilyn- take me with you


1995 mason, harvey- ratamacue


1995 cooper, craig t.- very best of craig t. cooper


1996 groove on!, vol. 3 (arranger, conductor, producer)


1996 cutlass, frankie- cypher, part 3


frank zappa: the lost episodes
   (1996, cd, usa, ryko)


frank zappa: lather
   (1996, 3cd, usa, ryko)


1996 williams, deniece- best of deniece williams: gonna tak


1996 songs of west side story


1996 whitted, pharez- mysterious cargo (arranger, keyboards, producer)


1996 jackson, paul jr.- never alone: duets


1996 supernatural fairy tales: the progr


1996 merry soulful christmas (producer)


1996 cole, natalie- stardust  arranger, producer, vibes, liner notes, vocal arrangements,


     horn arrangements)


1996 jarreau, al-  best of al jarreau  (piano, keyboards, lyricist, producer, horn


     arrangements, synthesizer overdubs)


1996 place of hope- place of hope synthesizer, (piano, vocals (bckgr), producer, mixing


     producer, vocal producer)


1996 white, lenny- renderers of spirit


1996 bedroom tenors- bedroom tenors


1996 mills, stephanie- greatest hits (producer)



frank zappa: frank zappa plays the music of frank zappa
   (1996, cd, usa, barking pumpkin)

24 george duke: muir woods suite
    (1996, cd, ??, ??)

1997 cats don't dance- cats don't dance (arranger, producer)


1997 miller, byron- until



frank zappa: have i offended someone?
   (1997, cd, usa, ryko)


1997 harp, everette- what's going on


1997 frank zappa- strictly genteel

25 george duke: is love enough ?
    (1997, cd, ??, ??)

1997 jazz fusion, vol. 1- jazz fusion, vol. 1 (keyboards, producer)


1997 berlin, irving- irving berlin songbook


1997 sample, joe- sample this


1997 tis the season- tis the season (arranger, keyboards, vocals (bckgr), producer)


1997 living single: music from & inspire  (arranger, keyboards, producer)


1997 fambrough, charles- upright citizen


1997 pieces of a dream- pieces (producer)


1997 best of smooth jazz- best of smooth jazz  (arranger, producer)


1997 osborne, jeffrey- something warm for christmas  (keyboards, producer)

  kirk whalum: the gospel according to jazz - chapter I
    (1998, cd, usa, warner gospel) - feat. george duke

1998 perry, phil- one heart, one love


1998 scott, marilyn- avenues of love (bass, keyboards, producer, executive producer)


1999 captain beefheart- the dust blows forward

26 george duke: cool
    (2000, cd, ??, ??)

     brookins, robert- let it be me


     wilson, nancy- this mother's daughter


     howard, george- reflections


     chocolate jam co.- spread of the future

  billy cobham: crosswinds
    (????) - duke
  billy cobham: inner conflicts
    (????) - duke & ruth underwood
  lee ritenour: captain fingers
    (????) - duke

     purim, flora- carry on


     concord jazz: collector's series sa

       vaughan, sarah- this is jazz, vol. 20  
  kirk whalum: the gospel according to jazz - chapter II
    (2002, cd, usa, word entertainment) - feat. george duke
  george duke: face the music
    (2004, cd, usa, jj-tracks 77025)
  various artists: power of soul - a tribute to jimi hendrix
    (2004, cd, ??, ??) - duke


frank zappa: quaudiophiliac
    (2004, dvda, usa, dts entertainment 69286-01125-9-9)

  george duke: in a mellow tone
    (2006, cd, ??, ??)


frank zappa: the dub room special
    (2007, cd, usa, zappa records)


frank zappa: one shot deal  (83)
    (2008, cd, usa, zappa records)


george duke: my soul - the complete mps fusion recordings
    (2008, 4cd, ger, mps) - incl.'echidna's arf', 'uncle remus', featuring napoleon murphy brock

  george duke: faces in reflection
    (2008, cd, ??, ??) - remastered digipack re-release of the 1974 album
  george duke: dukey treats
    (2008, cd, ??, ??) - feat. napoleon murphy brock
  george duke: feel
    (2008, cd, usa, verve / mps) - remastered digipack re-release of the 1975 album ; 
feat. obdewl'x (frank zappa)
  george duke: i love the blues, she heard my cry
    (2008, cd, ??, ??) - remastered digipack re-release of the 1976 album ;  feat.bruce fowler, johnny "guitar" watson, ruth underwood
  tony palmer's film of frank zappa's 200 motels
    (2010, dvd, uk, tony palmer)
  kirk whalum: the gospel according to jazz - chapter II
    (2010, 2cd, usa, top drawer records) - feat. george duke
  george duke: dukey treats
    (2010, cd, usa, ??)
  george duke: déjà vu
    (2010, cd, usa, ??)
  al jarreau and the george duke trio: live at the half note club 1965 vol.1
    (2011, cd, usa, george duke enterprises)
  frank zappa: penguin in bondage - the little known history of the mothers of invention
    (2011, download, usa, zappa records)

fz_penguin2011dl.jpg (32087 bytes)

  george duke: live in prague
    (2011, dvd, czech, good tree edition / marecam) - incl. a frank zappa medley

  miles davis: the complete miles davis at montreux 1973 - 1991
    (2011, 20cd, usa, sony) - feat. tom malone and george duke 

milesdavis_montreux20cd.jpg (21277 bytes)

  miles davis: miles ! the definitive miles davis at montreux dvd collection 1973 - 1991
    (2011, 10dvd, usa, eagle rock) - feat. tom malone, george duke and jean-luc ponty

  christian mcbride: conversations with christian
    (2011, cd, usa, mack avenue) - features george duke on  'mcdukey blues'
  dexter gordon: live at the both / and club
    (2012, cd, nl, challenge records jj tracks) - feat. george duke

dextergordon_liveatthebothendclub.jpg (63168 bytes)

  u-nam & friends: weekend in l.a. - a tribute to george benson
    (2012, cd, usa, sky town records) - feat. george duke

unam_tributetogeorgebenson.jpg (123288 bytes)

  lee ritenour: rhythm sessions
    (2012, cd, usa, ??) - feat. george duke
  george duke: dream weaver
    (2013, cd, usa, ??)
  various artists: shark gathering in post industrial bad doberan 2012
    (2013, 3dvdr, ger, private release / rr productions) - feat. frank zappa, l.shankar, the ensemble modern & incl. various bands playing zappa compositions
zappanale_exhib2012_01.jpg (42170 bytes) zappanale_exhib2012_02.jpg (41900 bytes)

zappanale_exhib2012_03.jpg (49802 bytes)

  william shatner: ponder the mystery
    (2013, cd, usa, cleopatra records) - feat. steve vai, george duke, zoot horn rollo
williamshatner_ponderthemystery.jpg (27560 bytes)


frank zappa: road tapes - finlandia hall, helsinki, finland 23, 24 august 1973
    (2013, cd, usa, vaulternative records)

fz_roadtapes02.jpg (29253 bytes)


frank zappa: a token of his extreme soundtrack
    (2013, cd, usa, zappa records)

fz_atohe_soundtrackcd.jpg (27662 bytes)


frank zappa & the mothers: roxy the movie
    (2015, cd+dvd, eu, eagle vision eagdv050)
fz_roxythemovie.jpg (36036 bytes)


frank zappa & the mothers: roxy the movie
    (2015, dvd, eur, eagle vision)
zappa_roxy_dvd.jpg (54282 bytes)


frank zappa & the mothers: roxy the movie
    (2015, blu-ray, eur, eagle vision)
zappa_roxy_br.jpg (43508 bytes)


frank zappa: road tapes - tyrone guthrie theater, minneapolis, mn 5 july 1970
    (2016, 2cd, usa, vaulternative records)
zappa_roadtapes19700705.jpg (30609 bytes)


frank zappa: the crux of the biscuit
    (2016, cd, usa, zappa records zr20020)
fz_cruxofthebiscuit.jpg (32468 bytes)
  billy cobham: live 1976 from new york hofstra playhouse
    (2016, cd, uk, gonzo multimedia gonzo hst358cd) - incl. 'echidna's arf' (f.zappa), 'uncle remus' (duke/zappa)

billycobham_live1976_gonzo.jpg (38519 bytes)

  george duke: berlin 77
    (2020, download, --, lo-light records) - incl. 'echidna's arf' (f.zappa), 'uncle remus' (duke/zappa)



semi-official releases

  frank zappa and captain beefheart: providence college, rhode island, april 26, 1975
    (2014, 2cd, uk, keyhole kh2cd9028)

fz_cb_19750426_keyhole.jpg (37765 bytes)

  frank zappa: vpro radio piknik, uddel, june 18, 1970 (remastered)
    (2015, spotify)
fz_vproradiopiknik_spotify.jpg (16430 bytes)
  frank zappa: the muffin man goes to college (live)
    (2015, spotify, --, sonic boom) = 1975/04/26 providence concert
fz_muffinmangoestocollege_spotify.jpg (14171 bytes)
  frank zappa featuring captain beefheart: the muffin mand goes to college
    (2018, lp, uk, cult legends) = 1975/04/26 providence concert


random notes

Birthday: Jan 12, 1946 in San Rafael, CA

     From: Scott Yanow, AMG
Inspired early on by Les McCann, he worked with a trio in San Francisco during the mid-'60s. In 1969 Duke accompanied Jean-Luc Ponty, recording with the violinist. After eight months with Don Ellis' Orchestra, he joined Frank Zappa for much of 1970. Duke spent 1971-72 with Cannonball Adderley and then returned to Zappa for 1973-75. In 1975 he worked with Sonny Rollins, co-led a group with Billy Cobham and then formed a funk band (the Clarke-Duke Project) with Stanley Clarke. By the late '70s he was completely outside of jazz, playing R&B and producing projects for pop artists.  -- Scott Yanow, AMG


     From: Unknown
Released many jazz albums, some of which are:

      From: Unknown
Released collaborations with Stanley Clarke (even doing "Louie Louie")
Also reasonably popular as a producer among young black artists. Continues to release albums.

George Duke produced one or two songs for one of the last Miles Davis albums.

George is currently working on his next solo release. Recent projects include production work for Johnny Gill and Anita Baker, music direction for Comic Relief, incidental music for assorted children's television shows, and "The Muir Woods Suite", an album of original orchestral music. (source: Keyboard Magazine, April 1994)

George Duke did production and practically all instruments on the Denise Williams world-wide hit "Let's hear it for the boy" sometime in the mid/late 80s. I've seen an interview where from memory he said that he did most of the instrumentation using memorymoogs and minimoogs.

Both George Duke and Ian Underwood performed on Quincy Jones: "Back on the Block". Ian did synthesizer programming on several songs, and George is featured soloist playing fender Rhodes on two songs ("New Man Woman" and "Brasilian Wedding Song")

     Joseph Evans sez:
George produced and penned the soundtrack to the Steve Martin flic "Leap of Faith."

     Michael Cysouw( sez:
George produced an played on 'Quiet after the Storm' by Dianna Reeves. He is credited as the composer of the number 'smile' on this album. And he produced, arranged and played on the number 'Backyeard Rituals' on the album 'Tutu' by Miles Davis.

     Jan van Kemenade sez:
In my collection there are three albums by George Duke:

all three albums list Herb Cohen as manager and the first two have Kerry McNabb as engineer. George Duke also played with Stanley Clarke (that's what I contributed a long time ago without naming any albums) He can be heard on the albums 'Schooldays' ('76) and 'I Wanna Play for You' ('79). 
George also plays on 1 track of Jean-Luc Ponty's 'Individual Choice' ('83). George played keyboards and produced an album by Jeffrey
Osborne 'Don't Stop' ('84)

     From: "" (
Mr Duke performed in a festival called Montreux
Summitt with notable players such as: Billy Cobham, Bob James, Eric Gale, Alphonse Johnson, Maynard Ferguson to name just a few.  It is overall an awe-inspiring lp.  I have not found it on cd, though.

     From: (John Henley)
     Date: 5 Jan 1998 14:51:50 GMT
Shortly before taking off for Xmas vacation (and being away from computers for many
days) I was channel-surfing, and stopped briefly on Black Entertainment Television where a tuxedo-clad big band was doing a shuffle before an equally tuxedo-clad audience.  Seems it was a taped broadcast of a big jazz concert recently held in Kansas City, I think it was.  Anyhoo, a few shots into this I recognized the bandleader as none other than our old friend George Duke.  (And let me tell ya something: from the looks of him, George learned his fitness regimen from FZ  - let's just say the man has become rather pear-shaped.)
To my delight, when they came to the end of this shuffle, George gave a hand signal (that's right) and the band finished the piece by ripping into the last 24 or so bars of "Echidna's Arf."  Probably not many people in that audience knew what they were hearing, but it knocked me silly.  And when they were done you could see one of the trumpet players take a deep breath, as if it'd taken all he had to get through those 24 bars.

     From: Martin Higgs (
There is an interview with George Duke in the May issue of UK mag
"Sound On Sound".  Here are a couple of pieces where he talks of working with FZ.

'Having initially collaborated with Frank Zappa on his 'classical-type project' King Kong, with Jean-Luc Ponty, Duke went on to be a mainstay of Zappa's live bands in the 1970s - an experience which was to prove very influential:

"I learned so much from Frank.  I went to this rehearsal, and we were doing this tune, and Frank had written out my part, which was a very simple four-to-the-floor keyboard riff 'pompompompom...'. I'd never heard this side of Frank.  I'd only heard the radical stuff.  And the whole day went like that, and I wasn't feeling comfortable at all.

Frank kept looking at me and asking: 'what's wrong with you?'  In the end I threw my hands up and said: 'I can't play this, man!' And he sais: 'Why? And I said: 'I just can't.' And Frank asked: 'Is there something wrong with your hand?' And I said: 'No.' So he continued: 'well, all you have to do is go 'pompompompom' and tap out the riff".

I responed: 'Yes I know. But you don't understand Frank, I...' And he interrupted: 'Oh, I see, you're a heavy musician. It's beneath you to play that.' I mumbled: 'Well.. well... well... can't I play another idea?' So I started playing some other stuff. But Frank stopped me: 'no, no, no, its like this... 'pompompompompom". But, eventually he broke me down. He told me: 'Look, you can be heavy *and* have a sense of humour. Don't be serious.' And I got it."


"... I think I made my mark playing instruments like the Minimoog, because I learnt how to make them talk; I learnt how to get the blues out of them. And that's something for which I have to thank Zappa, because he was the one who got me to play a lot of trombone, so I initially played Fender Rhodes and the trombone, and then the ARP Odyssey. I just wanted to do it all. Frank had written parts for the synths, and since there was no patch saving, I'd made all these marks on the synth, because Frank knew if the sound wasn't right. He'd describe certain sounds for me, I'd try to find them, and once I got there he'd say: 'OK, thats it.' And I'd mark it all down. For live playing I had to choreograph everything, so that I knew which parts to play and when to change the synth sounds."


* * *
regarding the albums on which her recorded frank zappa material
* * *

     From: Lewis Saul (
Naturally, the Echidna's kicks serious ass.

     From: Patrick Neve (
"Aura" was reissued on a double CD called "Three Originals" (MPS, 519 198-2). While the issue includes three out-of-print albums from that era, it unfortunately does not include the album "Feel", which is out of print as well and features FZ on guitar. 

     From: Patrick Neve (
George Duke has always been one of my favorite FZ memebers so I always snap up a used LP when I see one cheaply, hoping for some good music. Mostly I've been pretty disappointed with his solo career, at least the records I was finding, but I kept on because I knew what he was capable of. Well I finally broke down and bought the "Three Originals" re-issue thing and the music seriously cooks!  I had hesitations about buying a double CD basically for two songs (the Zappa covers) but believe me, if you're a George Duke fan this is a good purchase.
This is getting harder to find, and CD Universe is discounting it.  Is it going out of print?  Anyways, I got mine from CD Universe for $24 which I thought was a real good deal-o.
...Oh, and guess what else?
The second disc was loose!

     From: - October 8, 1998
A couple of lines from the liner notes by J"rg Eipasch (freelance journalist):

From 1970 to 1975, interrupted only by a two-year interlude with Cannonball Adderley, George Duke performed and recorded with various Zappa ensembles. During this time with what was probably the Mothers Of Invention's most popular line-up, Duke became acquainted with rock & roll and electric keyboards. As a pioneer of the rather new technology of synthesizers, George Duke has to be mentioned in the same breath as Chick Corea, Joe Zawinul, Herbie Hancock, Don Preston, Jan Hammer, and Sun Ra.

The three albums presented in this two record CD edition had been recorded towards the end of Duke's second period with Frank Zappa, which produced classics such as 'Over-nite Sensation', 'Apostrophe', 'Roxy & Elsewhere', and 'One Size Fits All'...

The music of 'I Love The Blues, She Heard Me Cry', 'The Aura Will Prevail', and 'Liberated Fantasies' is both reflecting the influence Frank Zappa's freaked-out stuff had on George Duke and indicating the keyboardist's later dedication to fusion, funk, and soul music. 'Uncle Remus' and 'Echidna's Arf', songs which had been released previously by Zappa on 'Apostrophy' and 'Roxy & Elsewhere' respectively, display most obviously George Duke's Mothers (Of Invention) fixation. But you can also detect the distinct influences of Zappa's compositional signature in Duke's own 'That's What She Said', a complex, polyrhythmic tune featuring Emil Richards' wizardry on marimba and the violin of John Wittenberg, standing in for the Mother's protagonists Ruth Underwood and Jean-Luc Ponty.

     From: Bossk (R)(
    George Duke's extremely soulful solo version of "Uncle Remus" has a slightly different twist to the lyrics than the version on APOSTROPHE ('). On APOSTROPHE ('), the second verse goes:

        We look pretty sharp in these clothes,
        Unless we is sprayed with a hose:
        It ain't bad in the day,
        When they squirt it your way,
        Except in the winter, when it's froze,
        And it's hard when it hits on your nose ...

    But Duke's version changes it to:

        It ain't bad in the day,
        UNLESS they squirt it your way ...

    Some people think this is a totally harmless change, others that it ruins the song completely. What do you think?


George Duke has a new album out. It's called "Face The Music" and it's out on JJ-Tracks 77025.

Promoting his new album, George Duke will be doing a concert in Paradiso, Amsterdam, NL, 2004/02/15.

line-up: George Duke (vocals/keyboards/piano), Ray Fuller (guitar), Michael Manson (bass), Gordon Campbell (drums) and Lori Perry (lead vocals).

-- info: Zjakki Willems

November 22, 2004, George Duke will receive an Edison (Dutch music award) for his oevre at the 'Doelen' in Rotterdam, NL. For the occasion he will be giving a concert.

-- info: Aad Hoogesteger

December 12, 2004, Dutch radio show "Mix Van Dat Alles" featured special guests George Duke and Napoleon Murphy Brock in the studio. Co de Kloet talked with them about their time with Zappa and about their musical colaboration.

-- info: Aad Hoogesteger


Maandagavond 9 november hoor je in Radio 6 Live The Bands opnamen van een exclusief concert van het Metropole Orkest o.l.v. Jules Buckley met de fameuze George Duke. Dit concert vond plaats zaterdag 31 oktober j.l. in de Melkweg in Amsterdam.

Naast 'features' van een aantal orkestleden traden als gastsolisten aan: Izaline Calister (zojuist bekroond met een Edison voor haar cd 'Speransa') en Napoleon Murphy Brock (2008 Grammy Award). Op het programma staan o.m. de Duke-stukken Sausalito, Festival, Dukey Treats, Adonis en het bekende stuk dat hij met Frank Zappa schreef, Uncle Remus.

Het concert is een co-productie van NPS Radio 6 en het Amsterdam Jazz Festival.


George Duke & Het Metropole Orkest

George Duke: piano or keyboards (*)
In the pieces without George the pianist is Hans Vroomans

All pieces by George Duke except where mentioned otherwise 
New arrangements by Tom Trapp 
NPS Producer: Co de Kloet


  • Going Home (vocal: George Duke) (*) 

  • The Duke (vocal: Izaline Calister and George Duke) (*)

  • Little Mystery (instrumental version) (*)

For Full Band:

  • Brown Sneakers (soloist: Peter Tiehuis)

  • Patience (vocal: Napoleon Murphy Brock; intro by Hans Vroomans)

  • Love's Weaker Side (vocal: Napoleon Murphy Brock (*)

  • Plegaria (vocal: Izaline Calister)

  • Festival (vocal: Izaline Calister) (*)


  • I Love The Blues, for combo (vocal: George Duke; Napoleon Murphy Brock) (*)

  • Anticipation (instrumental) (*)

  • I'm Falling (*)

  • Adonis (instrumental) (*)

  • Giant Child Within Us (instrumental) (*)

  • Brazilian Love Affair (vocal: Izaline Calister) (*)

  • Dukey Treats (vocal: IzalineCalister, George Duke, Napoleon Murphy Brock) (*) 


  • Uncle Remus (Frank Zappa / George Duke) ( vocal: George Duke, Napoleon Murphy Brock) (*) 




concerts, radio- & tv-specials

billy cobham - george duke band 

  • 2002/10/17 George Duke special on dutch television: "NPS Jazz" on Nederland 3.
The above picture shows Dianne Reeves and George Duke at the North Sea Jazz festival (performing 'Misty'), taken from the 2002/10/17 broadcast.





additional info:
- j.vankemenade

frank zappa  / musicians timeline



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soundtracks various artists