At 10pm tonight on WAIF (88.3 on your FM dial) the radio announcers Saint Slade & Vincident will present a tribute to keyboardist George Duke, who passed away this week at age 67. Duke’s music career was diverse enough that since his passing my friends and I have expressed surprise at all the artists he worked with in radically different genres. Many people know him for his work with Zappa, but other projects include stints with such jazz and jazz-fusion artists as Miles Davis, Stanley Clarke Billy Cobham…and he recorded a great deal as a leader. The whacked-out style of his lengthy stint with Zappa was also present in some of his other projects, including a live album with Billy Cobham and a collaboration with another Zappa alumni, Jean-Luc Ponty, whose King Kong LP was devoted to Zappa compositions. Tonight’s program will also provide an opportunity to get a taste of the weekly programs of Saint Slade & Vincent, who play a lot of the experimental and psychedelic music that other radio stations ignore.
I should also note that Nelson Slater will be performing at Fries Cafe this Saturday (8/10). Friday there’s a rare chance to catch the talented jazz and bossa nova vocalist Andrea Cefalo at Chez Nora in Covington; the show begins at 8pm. Here’s a sweet Billy Cobham track that includes George Duke (who was credited as Dawili Gonga because of all that record company business). Other musicians included Douglas Rauch, a bass player who did some great work with Santana, and a young and at that time relatively unknown John Scofield. Here’s “Song for a Friend (Part 1)” by Billy Cobham: