Tag Archives: POP



It was announced by a handful of web-based news reports stating award-wining pianist/producer George Duke has died. Most reports indicated the death of 67 year old Duke was called late evening  August 5,at St. Johns Hospital in Los Angeles,California.


“Former Supreme’s member, Sherrie Payne states: “I just received the devastating and sad news that the great musician, George Duke, passed away this evening at St. John’s Hospital in LA”

No word yet on what happened but, we will keep you posted. Duke just completed an album and was in the process of promoting it after losing his wife. It was just one year earlier, July 18th, that his beloved wife and best friend, Corine passed.

George Duke is an accomplished keyboardist, producer, arranger, bandleader, and composer. He has been successful in both popular music and jazz, and has straddled both sides of that aisle for most of his career. Duke grew up in Marin City, California, and in high school played in his first jazz group. His early influences were Miles DavisLes McCann, and Cal Tjader, all of whom played a role in the diversity of his composing, playing, and arranging. After graduating from high school, he attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and majored in trombone and composition with a minor in contrabass; he received his bachelor’s degree in music in 1967. He continued his studies at San Francisco State University, where he earned a Master’s degree, and briefly taught at Merritt Junior College in Oakland. While in school, Duke was part of a house band at San Francisco’s Half Note with Al Jarreau. The band backed some of the biggest names in jazz, including Sonny Rollins and Dexter Gordon.

He also began his recording career in 1967 while still in school. His first recording, The George Duke Quartet, Presented by the Jazz Workshop, was released on Germany’s Saba imprint, which later became MPS, a label he enjoyed a fruitful relationship with in the ’70s. In 1969 Duke heard a record on the radio by French violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, and through his relationship with Pacific Jazz honcho Dick Bock, he was able to make contact with Ponty; they eventually recorded The Jean-Luc Ponty Experience with the George Duke Trio in 1969.

The band played a slew of club gigs in the Bay Area, and at one such performance he was heard by audience members Frank Zappa and Cannonball Adderley. He was invited to join Zappa‘s Mothers of Invention and accepted, spending much of 1969 and 1970 with him.

Duke then spent 1971-1972 as pianist with Cannonball Adderley‘s band, and then returned to Zappa from 1973-1975.

In 1975 he worked with Sonny Rollins and co-led a group with Billy Cobham. Throughout these years, Duke recorded six albums for MPS: Solus/The Inner Source, Faces in ReflectionI Love the Blues, She Heard My CryFeelThe Aura Will Prevail, and Liberated Fantasies, all of which are now regarded as jazz and jazz-funk classics. Duke signed to CBS in late 1975 and released his first solo album for the imprint, From Me to You, in 1976, and began scandalizing jazz critics with his inclusion of funk, disco, and soul elements in his compositions, and in the array of musicians who performed with him. In 1978 he recorded his breakthrough, the crossover funk album Reach for It; it took him into the upper reaches of the pop charts, and moved his concert appearances from clubs to arenas. Follow the Rainbow and Brazilian Love Affair both landed in 1979 and ran up the charts as well.

By the late ’70s he was also producing projects for jazz, pop, and Brazilian artists including Raul de SouzaDee Dee Bridgewater, and A Taste of Honey, whose single “Sukiyaki” hit the top spot on the pop, adult contemporary, and R&B charts and went multi-platinum. Duke became a producer of note, going on to score hits with Jeffrey Osbourne (“Stay with Me Tonight,” “On the Wings of Love”) and Deniece Williams (“Let’s Hear It for the Boy,” “Do What You Feel”). Since then, production has played as large a role as making his own records — during part of the ’80s it almost surpassed it. Duke has produced a diverse range of projects — including records by the Pointer SistersBarry Manilow,Smokey RobinsonMelissa Manchester101 NorthGeorge HowardGladys KnightNajeeTake 6,Howard HewettChanté MooreEverette HarpRachelle Ferrell (his key collaborator in the early ’90s),Gladys KnightKeith WashingtonGary ValencianoJohnny Gill, and Anita Baker — in a wide range of styles. Many of these records charted very high.
Duke began the ’80s with the first Clarke/Duke Project recording (with bassist Stanley Clarke) that netted his own number Top 20 crossover hit, “Sweet Baby” (number 19 Pop, number 6 R&B). He also released the solo works Dream On,Guardian of the Light, and Rendezvous as well as another Clarke/Duke Project album before leaving Epic for Elektra in 1984. There he recorded Thief in the NightGeorge Duke, and Night After NightDuke‘s music delighted mainstream audiences and crossed over from pop to adult contemporary to the R&B charts effortlessly.     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Vz-qArxJv0


The ’90s commenced for Duke with a third and final Clarke/Duke Project recording before he signed to Warner Bros. upon the courting of legendary label boss Mo Ostin. While his debut for the label, 1993’s Snapshot, hit the charts because of its smash single “No Rhyme, No Reason” (sung by Ferrell), the biggest surprise for audiences came later, in 1995, with the release of The Muir Woods Suite. A large jazz concept work, it was recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival with Duke playing keyboards, Clarke on bass, Chester Thompson on drums, and Paulinho Da Costa on percussion fronting a symphony orchestra.

It was actually recorded in 1993, but Duke spent two years “fixing” the tracks before it was released in 1995; he has since performed it numerous times in concert. Jazz critics who had long derided his pop success and wrote him off suddenly took notice again. Duke, however, was courting no one. In 1996 he released Illusions and nailed another single in the Top 40 with “Love Can Be So Cold.” Some of the players and singers featured on the album included FerrellJames IngramJoyce KennedyMervin WarrenMarvin Winansthe EmotionsLori Perry, and Everette Harp.

Duke finished the decade with a string of albums for Warner including a second concept work, After Hours, before leaving the label after 2000’s Cool.

Duke threw another change-up in 2002 with Face the Music, issued on BPM. He played mostly acoustic piano on the date — something he hadn’t done in years — and used the same core band on the entire recording (another rarity). His main sidemen for the date were bassist Christian McBride, drummer Lil’ John Roberts, and Jef Lee Johnson on guitar.

Though there are other instruments and players, these men appear on every track. The album Duke was released in 2005, a hodgepodge of music he’d left off other projects. In 2006 he released In a Mellow Tone, a more traditional jazz album with Brian Bromberg on upright bass and Terri Lyne Carrington on drums, and the jazz critics took notice once again.

Dukey Treats appeared in 2008 from Heads Up Records. Duke returned to jazz-funk and R&B for 2008’s Dukey Treats, on Telarc, once more using singers and a slew of musicians. It was followed by Déjà Vu in 2010.

In 2012, he produced Jeffrey Osborne‘s Time for Love album (released in 2013). During the sessions, Duke‘s wife of 40 years, Corine, died from complications due to cancer. After some time spent away from music in order to properly grieve, he entered the studio in early 2013, and recorded Dreamweaver, which was released in July of this year.


boycott-florida-artist-cancelSources close to the Stevie Wonder camp confirm a list of artist joining him in support of a change of in the Stand Your Ground Law in Florida.  Some of the artists have even cancelled concerts in Florida after recent events. Stevie Wonder last week, at a concert in Canada said he would not play in Florida until they changed The Stand your Ground Law.  A list of celebrities has joined his call:

  • Mary Mary
  • Eddie Levert
  • Rod Stewart
  • Madonna
  • Usher
  • Pattie Labelle
  • Kanye West
  • Mary J
  • Trey Songz
  • Jay Z
  • Rolling Stones
  • Justin Timberlake
  • R. Kelly
  • Rihanna
  • Alicia Keys
  • Joe
  • Will I AM
  • Keyshia Cole
  • Young Jeezy
  • Erykah Badu
  • Wale
  • Frankie Beverly
  • Parliament

Re-posted from April Ryan Website  ** Update: I obtained from multiple sources early Monday a list of artists and entertainers who my sources told me had committed to a boycott of Florida following the George Zimmerman acquittal.  Since publishing that list I have heard from several representatives of the artists named who say, on behalf of their clients, they are uncomfortable being identified on that list and are seeking additional information.#FLORIDA BOYCOTT      #blues2jazzguy


New UnSung E-Zine / Blog Launching July 4 Blues Jazz Soul

Hipster Sanctuary  E-Zine/ Blog for the Unsung  An Enclave for the Serious Music Lover of  Blues, Soul & Jazz launching July 4 2013.  Bobby Dashiki

The Hipster Sanctuary  E-Zine/Blog  is focused primarily on UNSUNG  artists of  Jazz, Blues and Soul Genres. We’ll profile, explore, interview and publicize information to, commemorate, or uplift the legacy of these artists who gave it their all during their time in the public’s eye. 

”By Any Medium Necessary”  

From time to time, we may have special events recognizing these artists as groups, or individually honoring them. We will also include individuals who contributed to the innovations and quality of the music through Press,Radio and Film. Artists emerging or still performing on a high level will be acknowledged as well.

Robert J. Carmack – Editor in Chief

Robert  grew up in Los Angeles (Watts & Compton) and has spent almost five decades in entertainment as musician, actor,producer ,writer and photo/journalist across many genres including Jazz, Soul/R&B and Blues. Co-founded The Paul Robeson Players,  Atlanta International Jazz Society,  SFBAAAM (San Francisco Bay-Area African American Musicians)worked as publicist/promoter and producer, for live concerts and awards shows. Expert in Jazz & blues history, Robert studied Music,Communications and Theater Arts in college. He holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree from California State University Dominguez Hills and is a passionate patron of  Youth in Fine Arts & Education.

We welcome ideas, suggestions,photos, and guest writers to participate as well.

Contact Us: Email  blues2jazz2003@yahoo.com    Twitter:#@blues2jazzguy

Coming in August..The Dells:Oh What a Life

A special expose on a group who’s probably has the most  continuous time together as a group with  original members.  Also, special profiles on the late Marvin Junior and Johnny Carter .  dells05  the Use Now 1


Five-Stairsteps OONOW stair step color 1970s
Elder brother of  The Five Stairsteps, Clarence Burke,Jr. death is still shrouded in mystery. Family friend & long time manager Joe Marno said,the R&B singer died  last Sunday at his home in Marietta,Georgia. Burke resided there with his wife.
With respect for the family’s request for privacy, no further information has been released surrounding the cause or circumstances of Burkes’s sudden death. unnamed sources indicated ,the talented singer/writer was busy preparing for a string of solo concerts and recording sessions. After forming the group with his Dad and three other brothers in early 1960s, Clarence wrote and produced the Maiden Voyage hit, You Waited Too Long in1966.  While later adding his older sister Alohe, Dad exited the stage area to handle the business management.  By 1970, their biggest hit of all-time “OOH CHILD” was catapulting them to stratospheric stardom. Besides his parents,Clarence Sr. and mother Betty, Burke Jr is survived by his wife Crystal;his five children; the five band mate siblings;two other brothers, Leonard and Martin and a bevy of grandchildren.Follow Robert J.Carmack @blues2jazzguy on twitter

Oh What A Career The Dells Lead Singer Marvin Junior Passed Today

marvin-junior- The DELLSMarvin Junior, the long time surviving lead singer extraordinaire of the mighty, mighty Dells  passed today (05-29-13). Unfortunately we don’t have any specific details of his death, but according to a May 23, 2013 report in the Soulful Detroit blog, Mr. Junior  was reported to be very ill “and was not expected to be around  much longer. The report also mentioned that another member of The Dells, Mr. Chuck Barksdale, was also very ill.

We’ll have more details as they become available. Follow story on twitter:blues2jazzguy  Lead singer of  The DellsMarvin Junior‘s warm, earnest baritone vocals helped define the Harvey, IL, R&B/soul music group during its ’60s/’70s heyday (along with Johnny Carter’s mesmerizing falsetto). One example of his vocal prowess is his ability at holding a note, as heard on the 1968 remake of their own “Stay in My Corner.”

It’s no secret that producers Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff wanted Marvin Junior on their Philadelphia International Records label. When the group signed to Chess, they went with the similar-sounding Teddy PendergrassGamble & Huff finally got to work with the Dells in 1992 on the I Salute You album.

Junior, along with the rest of the Dells, was a key influence on Robert Townsend in the making of his movie The Five Heartbeats. In the early ’50s, the group initially formed as the El Rays when the members were students at Thornton Township High School. The lineup was Marvin JuniorJohnny Funches, Verne Allison,Chuck BarksdaleMickey McGill, and his brother Lucius. After doing their share of street-corner harmonizing, the vocal group auditioned for Leonard Chess of Chess Records in nearby Chicago. Their first release on Chess’ Checker imprint was the a cappella song “Darling I Know” with “Christine” on the flip side. The 45 was a small regional hit. Not long afterwards, Lucius McGill quit the group. Now a quintet, the group was taken under the wing of Harvey Fuqua of the Moonglows who schooled the group on five-part vocal harmony. Watch/listen to a classic 1972 live performance of “Oh What A Night,” “Always Together” and “Stay In My Corner” by the Dells on the PBS show “Soul”:

Eldest Sibling of Soul Group “The Stairsteps” Clarence Burke Jr. Dead at 63

Clarence Burke Jr

clarence-burke 3 now Re-Posted from The National R&B Music Society

Musical Genius, Vocalist, Songwriter, Musician, Producer and our dear friend Clarence Burke Jr. of The First Family of Soul “The Five Stairsteps, The Stairsteps and The Invisible Man’s Band has taken his final step…

My heart is heavy, my tears are still flowing, and my eyes are swollen, from mourning the loss of our dear friend Clarence Burke Jr. All night I have been reflecting on conversations he and I shared over the last three years and although we did discuss the music, we mainly spoke about life. I have always loved, admired and respected this Giant’s body of work, however through those conversation I admired, loved and respected the man, Clarence Burke Jr.

I am trying to wrap my head around this tremendous loss to the music industry. I can’t begin to imagine what his family and close friends are going through at this time. They all are in my thoughts and prayers and have my deepest condolences.

Vannessa Jordan
The National R&B Music Society Inc.

Re-Launch Date of Hipster Sanctuary July 4 2013

It was announced by Robert J. Carmack ,the new relaunch date of Hipster Sanctuary originally scheduled for February of this year , that had to placed on hold until now ,due to an emergency life-threatning surgery procedure .Now that rehab is completed, this writer is chomping at the bit to get started. further announcements are forthcoming and all back-dated articles  will be followed up and inserted.  blue jacket Rob


List your favorite #Soul, #Blues or #Jazz music group of all-time, in ranking order. Perhaps your list will be cited as Best List of All Time  greats. Some people like the Four Tops, Gladys Knight and James Brown, perhaps You like #Kool & the Gang , #WAR and Stevie Wonder. #BB King, #Bobby Blue Bland or the Blue Magoos?? whomever your choice is, post it in the comment section found below. #Quincy Jones, #Herbie Hancock, or #Miles Davis and #John Coltrane??