George Duke

Night After Night

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Having been a top notch producer for such hot R&B acts as Stephanie Mills, Deniece Williams, and Jeffrey Osborne throughout the '80s, it comes as no surprise that Duke would deliver such a powerhouse of dance funk instrumentals towards the end of that decade. Being so pop oriented, however, what comes as a pleasant surprise is just how much room is left for Duke to display his sense of improvisation on the many keyboards he uses here. On both midtempo numbers like "Rise Up" and "You Are The Only One In My Life," and upbeat funkfests such as the anthem-like "Children of the Night," Duke textures his outstanding hooks with a little imagination. Particularly exciting is his ample use of trumpet and sax, as well as many guest vocals by such luminaries as Osborne, Phil Perry, and James Ingram. Duke's finest moments are his gorgeous covers of LTD's mid-'70s hit "Love Ballad," and Anita Baker's "Same Ole Love," which features some of the finest acoustic piano work of his career.

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