A valued sideman, by the mid-'70s Duke would become a star and influential in his own right. For this 1974 MPS release, Frank Zappa had relinquished his studio time for Duke. The kind gesture immediately reverberated throughout jazz circles and beyond. By the time of this release, Duke's extensive resumé included two stints with Zappa's Mothers of Invention as well as some time with saxophonist Cannonball Adderley. Although this would be the third album under his name, Feel's eclectic mix of fusion and rock is his debut in the genre of which he'd later become a leader. The ARP synth-adorned and buoyant "Love" features Duke's blissful, falsetto vocals and Zappa's intense and searing guitar solos. The beautiful and ethereal title track boasts one of Duke's most effective melodies. The song also shows up as "Statement," an instrumental one minute and 15 seconds in length. The funky instrumental "Old Slippers" has impeccable drumming by Leon "Ndugu" Chancler, with Zappa again joining the fun with a gorgeous solo. A top-notch and insouciant Latin excursion, "Yana Aminah" features great double-tracked vocals from Flora Purim and well as Duke's deft synths, which replicate strings. Feel proves that, even at this relatively early stage, Duke's intelligent ear for melodies and his keyboard prowess set him apart from his contemporaries.
AllMusic Review by Jason Elias