Ray Barretto - Eye Of The Beholder / Can You Feel It?

Raymond Barretto came from New York and was a drummer, percussionist, bandleader, composer and producer. He was born in 1929 and was a member of Tito Puente’s orchestra from 1957 to 1960. He recorded for a number of labels including United Artists and Fania Records and was with Atlantic for the two albums we present here for the first time on CD, “Eye Of The Beholder” and “Can You Feel It”.
 
Both these albums come from the heyday of jazz fusion in the late 70s (1977 and 1978 respectively), the first a production collaboration with The Crusaders. With Joe Sample penning “Here We Go Away”, the music is just one step away from what The Crusaders were making themselves at the time, short of Stix Hooper on drums but in the sturdy hands of Frank Zappa’s Terry Bozzio doing the beats. Elsewhere on the album the UK’s Steve Ferrone, a former member of Average White Band, features prominently on drums with Ray focusing on congas and percussion, as he does across these two sets with Wilton Felder’s “Numero Uno” (the album’s US 45) highly regarded as a masterpiece of jazz fusion.
 
“Can You Feel It” is best know for songs including the outstanding soul performance by Prince Phillip Mitchell on “What Part Of Heaven Do You Come From?” and the soul and jazz mix of Cissy Houston vocals and Todd Anderson sax on “Summer Sun”. There was also a US ‘disco’ 12” single of “Stargazer” during the time our music was obsessed with space and the galaxy when Lonnie Liston Smith had his “Space Princess” and Dexter Wansel was doing “Life On Mars”, and Ray ensured his track would be a showcase for his skills on the percussive breakdown on this, his one funky track aimed at the dance floor.

£9.99

 

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