When George Duke recorded Liberated Fantasies in 1976, he had yet to make R&B his primary focus, but he was gradually moving in that direction. Liberated Fantasies is primarily an album of instrumental jazz fusion, although three of the tunes offer R&B or rock vocals. Singer Napoleon Brock provides an enjoyable rock vocal on "Tryin' and Cryin'," and Duke's lead singing on the funky "Don't Be Shy" and the mellow soul number "Seeing You" give listeners a taste of what was to come on albums like 1977's Reach for It, 1978's Don't Let Go and 1979's Follow the Rainbow. Meanwhile, his skills as a fusion keyboardist are illustrated by instrumentals that include the playful "I C'n Hear That," the groovin' "Back to Where We Never Left" and the Brazilian-minded title song. Generally decent and occasionally excellent, Liberated Fantasies falls short of essential but is worth hearing if enjoy hearing Duke tackle a variety of material.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson