George Duke with Al Jarraeu

Sovereign Performing Arts Center

By: David Turcotte

In 1969, George Duke and a young singer named Al Jarreau formed a group which became the house band at San Francisco’s Half Note Club.  More than 40 years later, George Duke has produced a career that rivals just about any name you can throw out there.

Miles Davis?  George Duke has produced songs for Miles.  Jazz giants Cannonball Adderly, Stanley Clarke and Herb Ellis?  Check.  How about Anita Baker, George Clinton, Jeffrey Osborne and the great Frank Zappa?  Check.  Geoge Duke even played keys on Michael Jackson’s infamous Off The Wall album!  The man is a living legend, and I got to see him among a sold out crowd at the Sovereign Performing Arts Center in Reading Pennsylvania.

Geoge Duke’s band began the set with an introduction for his long time running mate Al Jarreau.  The esteemed singer entered the stage with a slow stride and full of facial expressions.  The band broke into a three jazz standards before Al Jarreau briefly left the stage to George Duke.

George Duke shared a number of stories about producing songs for Miles Davis, and his early days playing clubs in San Francisco at the Half Note.

Duke played a few songs from his work with Miles Davis, and brought Jarreau back to the stage for his hit In This Love Together.

You can see additional photos from me here.

You can also see the amazing photos of TSI’s own David Simchock here.

David Simchock on Flickr