As word continues to spread over what would appear to be the passing of George Duke, I sit here quietly and await confirmation from Concord Music.
There can be no question that George Duke has left a lasting legacy and his impact on contemporary instrumental music is massive in scope both here in the United States and from a global perspective. A visionary and a pioneer. @CriticalJazz is deeply saddened at these reports should they prove true.
Like many of you I first caught wind of this on social media at roughly 5 a.m. which is the busy time for the chronically unemployed, insomniacs, or chronically ill music critics as the case may be. What I experienced on one individual page is troubling but not surprising. I hold back the name as I have too much respect for the individual and the remarkably bigoted remarks his followers make are certainly not reflective of his own views.
Everyone seemed to be rushing to stand in line to tap down the first spade of dirt on George Duke but the comments were incredibly sad and a prime example of how low we are as a collective people. One individual remarked that the death of black artists are always slow to leak out because of their race. Really? The news of the passing of any artist is in direct proportion to what is perceived as their contribution to their craft. George Duke was in the news almost immediately so this racially biased nonsense does not fly. Another individual seemed to take great offense that I would not agree to the credibility of her sources. Granted, not everyone can obtain their information from Concord Music but in this particular situation I simply do not see the glory in being first...I would rather be last with a credible source and be right. This lovely lady went on to question my syntax in that particular setting. When in doubt, make it personal. Typos happen. Facebook is not a grad school thesis and I was not aware that the grammar police kept such late hours...She then proudly announced she was off to pray. Real god fearing people do not feel the need to advertise. It is all about responsibility. The last individual went on to attack me on a more personal level which I won't go into here only to say that the block feature on face book is alive and well.
We have become a nation of media vultures. Respect and common decency have died the same death as freedom of speech. The comments I witnessed and those directed at me do a great injustice to a great musician. We hear at @CriticalJazz send our deepest sympathy to the Duke family along with our friends at the Concord Music Group at not only the possible passing of George Duke but at the cyber disrespect happening as we speak.