Clarke teamed up with keyboardist George Duke in 1981 to form the Clarke/Duke Project. Together they scored a Top 20 pop hit with the single “Sweet Baby,” In 1981 George Duke and Stanley Clarke began their official collaboration together with the release of Clarke/Duke Project, which produced the top ten smash hit, “Sweet Baby.” In total they have recorded three albums. Over the course of their funk-filled and genre-smashing collaborations, Clarke and Duke have created performances full of fun, energy and exceptional musicianship with a big bottom and keyboard flights of fancy. More of the same fantastic musical roller-coaster ride is on the way with their new CLARKE/DUKE 4 “BRING IT” Tour.
It has been six years since they last toured together and both are looking forward to the CLARKE/DUKE 4 “BRING IT” Tour. Clarke remarks, “I’m looking forward to these performances, because the most fun I have touring is with George. We have a good time together. We’re both older and more experienced. Our repertoire is more all-encompassing and much more diverse.”
Duke adds, “Touring with Stanley is always a good thing, because he’s a nut. He’s the younger brother I never had. We each have different perspectives on music, but at the same time a lot of similarities. It’s the diversity of our backgrounds that makes it interesting. My musical background is West Coast and Stanley’s is East Coast. I came from R&B, where Stanley came more from rock.”
The CLARKE/DUKE 4 “BRING IT” Tour should be extra-special because both Clarke and Duke broke new ground in the movement that spearheaded jazz-fusion in the early 1970s. Thirty plus years later there is longevity to that movement as shown by the oft-sold-out, highly successful Return To Forever world tour in 2010-2011. It’s an opportunity to be able to go out on tour and perform a style of music that they helped pioneer.
Richard Ginell at Daily Variety commented on their performance at the 2006 Playboy Jazz Festival, “The big crowd-rouser of the day was the revival of the Stanley Clarke/George Duke Project, part of their first joint tour since 1990. The distance between them in the intervening years seems to have kept their music fresh -- a solid jazz-funk chassis powered by Clarke's ground-breaking, thunder-fingered technique on his famous brown electric bass and Duke's virtuosity and feeling for funky soul on electric keyboards. They even performed an acoustic duet, which wouldn't have come up in their heyday.”
Reviewer Don Brown, Sr., with JazzInternet.com observed, “To watch these two men try to out duel each other is a treat….Clarke and Duke hit the stage with the power of a tank. They wooed the audience on the first number before things really started cookin'.”
Multi-Grammy Award winning GEORGE DUKE has worked with a Who’s Who of musical greats, including Cannonball Adderly, Anita Baker, Miles Davis, Al Jarreau and Dianne Reeves. One of the foremost keyboard pioneers, George helped usher in the 70’s fusion revolution with his work with Jean Luc Ponty and Frank Zappa. Through the years, along with his 30 solo projects and busy producing schedule, George has acted as musical director for numerous artists and television specials, including the “Soul Train Music Awards” (nine years) and “NBC’s Sunday Night Show.” He has composed for films such as The Five Heartbeats soundtrack, the title song for the movie Karate Kid III and music for Paramount Pictures Leap Of Faith and Meteor Man. In addition to his many Grammy nominations and awards, Duke was named "R&B Keyboardist Of The Year" by Keyboard Magazine several years in a row and received the coveted Edison Life Time Achievement Award in Rotterdam. He was also nominated for a NAACP Image Award in music. STANLEY CLARKE, also a multi-Grammy Award winner, became the first bassist in history who could double on acoustic and electric bass with equal ferocity and the first bassist ever to headline tours, selling out shows worldwide. A veteran of over 40 albums, he won the 2011 Best Contemporary Jazz Album Grammy for his album The Stanley Clarke Band. Clarke co-founded the seminal fusion group Return to Forever with Chick Corea and Lenny White. This year Return to Forever won a Grammy Award and Latin Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Forever. He has collaborated with Quincy Jones, Stan Getz, Art Blakey, Paul McCartney and Keith Richards to name a few. Clarke’s creativity has been recognized and rewarded in every way imaginable. Most recently he was honored with the prestigious Miles Davis Award at the Montreal Jazz Festival for his body of work. An accomplished film and TV composer of over 60 projects, his credits include Boyz N The Hood, the Tina Turner biopic What’s Love Got To Do With It, Romeo Must Die and The Transporter. He has garnered three Emmy Nominations and a BMI Award for his scoring.