Eric Frazier

Find Yourself (Then Find Me)

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After years touring New York and beyond as a session player for plays and visiting artists and on his own enterprises with poetry and performance, as well as time as a school teacher, conga player Eric Frazier here shows off his chops on a solo album. Unfortunately, despite his ability on the conga (and the highly touted praise of Max Roach), he doesn't play with the power or showcasing of a Mongo Santamaria or Poncho Sanchez and often slips behind his backing band. The music is well-composed, largely throwing back to progressive jazz from the '70s with influences from soul and funk. Where the congas are lacking in the lineup, luckily, Frazier has some heartfelt, if perhaps a bit thin, vocals. His raps can be a little simplistic, but get an 'A' for effort. Not the best album of the year, certainly, but there are plenty worse out there as well.

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