Two massive records from Ray Barretto – both from a time when he was really opening up his groove! Eye Of The Beholder is a really wonderful album from Barretto – more jazz fusion than his usual 70s salsa – but in a way that we really really love! The album's a crossover gem that has Ray working with Stix Hooper, Joe Sample
, and Wilton Felder of The Crusaders – a trio who produced the record, and add in some of their instrumental help as well – which helps Ray find this bouncy, sometimes funky sort of groove – a sublime blend of LA fusion and New York Latin! There's still loads of great percussion from Barretto – but the set also has some wicked keyboards, guitar, and lots of jazzy inflections too. Titles include the killer cut "Here We Go Again" – a great midtempo number with a perfect steppers groove – plus the cuts "Tumbao Africano", "Leti", and "Expresso". Can You Feel It offers sweet sounds from the days when Fania Records was one of the greatest things going on the New York scene – and some of its key artists got a chance to work for other labels! This set's one of the best example
s of that moment – as Ray Barretto steps out here in some sweet soul
ful territory for Atlantic Records – on an album that mixes his Latin roots with warmer soul
backings that have the same sort of full, rich sound of the best Atlantic R&B of the time. Ray's conga is still part of the sound – especially on the funkier cuts – but the album's also got some strong soul
vocals, too – sung by Prince Phillip Mitchell on one of the album's best cuts, and by Cissy Houston and Googie Coppola on a few others. Tracks include "Sting Ray", "Can You Feel It", "What Part Of Heaven Do You Come From", "Stargazer", and "Confrontation".