George Duke

Recent Articles

Billy Cobham’s Spectrum 40 Tour stops at the Dakota



By Charles Hallman

Staff writer


The energy he displayed during a recent show in town truly belies Billy Cobham’s age. The 69-year-old jazz fusion drummer has been on the road with his Spectrum 40 tour.  “We have been accelerating as we went along. We started in St. Petersburg [Florida] then went to Atlanta; up to Seattle, down to Portland then on to to Albuquerque . . Continue Reading →

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Lorber and company wow Dakota crowd

Jazz and R&B heavyweights come together for “special show”


By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Last week was the first time I attended a Dakota Jazz Club late show. Several patrons that attended the earlier Jeff Lorber, Everette Harp, Shawn LaBelle, and Stokley Williams set on August 28 told me that I wouldn’t be disappointed. They weren’t wrong. Billed as “a special show featuring four of the biggest names in contemporary jazz and R&B,” the four veteran artists easily could have done a solo performance at the downtown Minneapolis club, but as a quartet, they nonetheless rocked the house. LaBelle, who plays keyboards and bass, assembled the quartet: “It means a lot to have all these guys come in. Continue Reading →

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Jeffrey Osborne delivers jazz standards with A Time For Love



Eighties’ heartthrob, master vocalist and a fine songsmith, Jeffrey Osborne has a very special gift for fans, A Time For Love (SSR Records). His newest since 2005’s Yes, I’m Ready,

it’s a winning note on which listeners who’ve always enjoyed this premiere performer will eagerly welcome him back. In addition to Osborne still being in top form, A Time For Love has going for it that he’s reunited with renowned producer-keyboardist-arranger George Duke (Jeffrey Osborne, Stay With Me Tonight, Don’t Stop).  The illustrious combination still gets the job done.  Beautifully. This album is a collection of jazz standards like “The Shadow of Your Smile,” the timeless Nat “King” Cole classic “Nature Boy,” and “What a Wonderful World,” with some pop staples thrown in, i.e., “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight,” and “(They Long To Be) Close To You,” along with the dusty chestnut “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” done as a duet with Chaka Khan.  Most music lovers won’t recognize the name outside longtime readers of liner notes, but a splendid inclusion is bassist Christian McBride who, at one point or another, has accompanied just about everyone under the sun: from Freddie Hubbard to Carly Simon to Queen Latifah and back. Osborne’s captivating baritone is rich as ever, even, in fact, subtler, as he pulls out a palette of shaded colors to give the songs— each of them old as the hills — freshly seductive vitality.  James Taylor’s “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight” gets a marvelously nuanced reading, starting with its sparse, sweetly arranged intro, which is a tad more upbeat than the original. Continue Reading →

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Rich summer music menu: Bill Frisell, Rachelle Ferrell, Cassandra Wilson


I was scanning the magazine newsstand the other day and picked up a copy of the June issue of Ebony magazine. It’s their music issue. I open it up, and who is the first person I see? It’s Esperanza Spalding. So, I read the blurb about how the bassist/vocalist would like to model her career after Ornette Coleman and Madonna. Continue Reading →

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