Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Stanley Clarke & George Duke - "Sweet Baby"

Sweet Baby (Album Version) - George Duke Greatest Hits

(Debuted May 2, 1981, Peaked #19, 20 Weeks on the Chart)

George Duke and Stanley Clarke are both renowned as jazz artists, but "Sweet Baby" doesn't sound so much like a jazz composition. It is pure pop, and lodges itself firmly in the head of the listener after the song is over (I mean that in a good way).

Clarke is a member of the jazz fusion group Return To Forever and a well-known bass player who's developed a distinctive style of picking and popping. As for Duke, he's well-known as a jazz musician but has evaded being pinned down by the genre. He's been a keyboardist, a singer, a composer and producer. He used all those talents on the collaborative LP The Clarke/Duke Project, and "Sweet Baby" went higher up the charts than anything they did solo. While those who are jazz fans often bemoan this fact (they feel that the LP didn't let the pair bring out each other's strengths), it is a nice pop composition that is rarely heard any longer.

In a way, that's a shame..."Sweet Baby" would fit in well as an AC song.

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