If, like me, you are moved to sadness by the death of George Duke, then I want to let you in on a secret I hope will comfort you.
It may surprise you to know that originality is hard to find; in fact; research has shown that around 70% of any creative work is inspired by previous creative work, so 100% originality is rare. While this may bother some people who hoped to be 100% original, let me say, in my opinion, it’s overrated, especially when you consider what your creative efforts may contain.
George Duke inspired a generation with his playing, I remember watching him with Stanley Clarke knocking out School Days several decades ago and thinking “wow, I’d like to play like that.” I know somewhere inside me there are some of his licks - of course, not even close to being in the same league as the giant George, yet still there’s a little bit of George in me and in the creative output of tens, if not hundreds of thousands of other musicians, around the world.
Whilst George may have passed physically from this life, I am convinced his music will continue to weave its way into the music of others for generations to come. We will continue to hear his tunes done his way, but new music will be birthed which will find its musical DNA in the creative life of George Duke.
George will be sadly missed, as he is irreplaceable, but his tunes and inspiration will last forever. When it comes to death, creativity has a way of having the last word - or should I say, an encore.