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If Contusion was the sound of Stevie’s band warming up, Sir Duke captures them fully engaged. It’s a joyous celebration of not just the greats of jazz (Duke Ellington being the ‘Sir’ in question), but music itself.
It’s a fun-filled romp throughout: from the opening horn riff through to the hook-loaded chorus and sing-along breakdown. Sir Duke got hit single written all over it, so it’s hardly surprising that it topped the US charts in 1977. As Wonder prepares for his headline Glastonbury appearance, it must be comforting to know that he’s got material like this in his locker.
Interestingly, Sir Duke was recorded on both 16- and 24-track machines - Stevie wanted to hear which sounded better. It was the 24-track version that eventually made the album.