Jazz Fusion Pioneer George Duke Dead At 67

george-dukeRadio Facts reports that jazz fusion pioneer George Duke has died, at age 67.

George Duke (January 12, 1946 – August 5, 2013) was an innovative keyboard player, composer, arranger, producer and a favorite of keyboardists for decades. He recorded 30+ solo albums and is well-known for his work with Jean-Luc Ponty, Frank Zappa, Billy Cobham, Micheal Jackson, Miles Davis and many others.

Duke was active to the end, with his most recent release, Dreamweaver, dedicated to the memory of his wife Corine.

Here are some videos that showcase Duke’s approach to electronic keyboards: Continue reading

The Past, Present And Future Of MIDI

At the 2013 NAMM Show, MIDI creators and innovators Alan Parsons, Tom Oberheim, Dave Smith, Jordan Rudess, George Duke and Craig Anderton participated in an uber-panel, discussing the past, present and future of MIDI. Continue reading

Spectrasonics Artist Videos – The Classiest Promos Ever?

Spectrasonics‘ Artist Video Series is one of the classiest collections of promos that we’ve seen. Spectrasonics just gets some kick ass musicians in a room and lets them do their thing with the company’s virtual instruments.

In this video, keyboardists George Duke and Greg Phillinganes jam with the Trilian Total Bass Module – with Bob Wilson laying down his trademark drumming.

Where’s the part where they talk about how massive Trillian’s sample library is, or Spectrasonics’ STEAM technology or how many jillion patches it comes with?

Who knows? But you might just want to watch some of the other videos from this session, or download the MP3s……

George Duke Soul Treasures

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Native Instruments has introduced George Duke Soul Treasures, a new Kontakt instrument that offers over 500 licks that can be tweaked and re-arranged to provide royalty-free melodic elements for Hip Hop, R&B, Soul, Funk, Disco, House and similar genres.

For the library, George Duke recorded over 500 original keyboard phrases on his personal grand piano, electric piano, Wurlitzer and clavinet models. In the video below, Duke talks about the instruments he used and behind the scenes processes.

George Duke Soul Treasures can be used both with the free Kontakt Player and in the full-featured Kontakt 4 software sampler. Due to the advanced slicing and time-stretching functions in Kontakt, all loops automatically sync to the song tempo of the sequencer, and can be modulated, re-pitched, and even completely re-arranged in real-time via an intuitive keyboard trigger scheme.

For creative sound mangling, various multi-effect chains can be activated through the keyboard on the fly, with a flexible filter section and a studio-grade convolution reverb offering further sound shaping options. Every lick in George Duke Soul Treasures is also available in an additional “Tubes & Tape” version that was processed through a custom analog recording chain at George Duke’s studio, resulting in an even grittier authentic vintage sound.

George Duke Soul Treasures is available now for US $119 / 99 EUR. Continue reading

George Duke + Greg Phillinganes Spectrasonics Jam – “The Face”

This is the second in Spectrasonics’ Artist Video Series, showcasing, amazing artists using and playing Spectrasonics instruments from a huge variety of different genres.

In this video, keyboardists George Duke and Greg Phillinganes jam with Trilian Total Bass Module – with Bob Wilson laying down his trademark drumming.

More from this session at the Spectrasonics site.