Freddie Ravel's debut for the GRP label is packed with great musical personnel and features the excellence that one obtains as a result of many years of collaborating with such great artists as Peter White, Quincy Jones, Madonna, Earth, Wind & Fire, Al Jarreau, and Tony Bennett. Freddy Ravel is beautiful, romantic, alive with fiery Latin rhythms and resplendent with lush flamenco guitar stylings that are sure to melt the hopeless romantic in everyone. The pianist, composer, and arranger is accompanied by a stellar lineup of guest stars including Ardeshir Farah and Jorge Strunz, Eric Marienthal, Marc Antoine, and Peter White. Freddie Ravel wrote all of the compositions except for two which were co-written with Peter White. Opening with "Echo de Amor," Freddie Ravel and his labelmate acoustic guitarist Marc Antoine immediately send soothing, alluring messages to their listeners, ones filled with beautiful melodic phrasings that you won't forget anytime soon. It is the kind of song that you tune into and keep inside. The descarga "Samba Mundial" is alive with the Brazilian rhythms honed from his association with Sergio Mendes. Rafael Padilla provides excellent rhythmic elements from an assortment of percussive instruments while Ravel and Michael O'Niell are astounding with solos set against the dynamic In & Out Horns. This descarga is sure to please. The radio hit, "Sunny Side Up," is a smooth, sunny groove filled with piano stylings that reveal Ravel's jazz and classical prowess in an array of arpeggio. One of the most beautiful songs on this CD is "Bolerino Bella," a lovely, romantic, ballad filled with lush orchestration, harmonious guitar from Michael O'Niell, and piano melodies by Ravel. Freddie Ravel is filled with pure romance, an energetic bonus "Love Is in the Air," a Spanish mix titled "Dame la Razon," great Latin dance numbers, contrasting riffs for frontline instruments, and it is a sure winner for Freddie Ravel.
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AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein
feat: Marc Antoine