Jewel Eyes


Jewel Eyes


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Featuring Tenor saxophonist Gato Barbieri on a new re-mix of Aurora, pianist and composer Frank Ferrucci re-leases on CD his first album "Jewel Eyes" on Baioca Records. Musicians that appear on this groundbreaking CD are Frank on piano and keyboards, Gato, Ed Palermo and Jim Clouse on saxophones, drummers Portinho, Richie Morales, Terry Silverlight, bassist Lincoln Goines, percussionist Roger Squitero, Congeros Daniel Ponce, and Mustafa Ahmed, guitarists Bill Washer and Claudio Celso.

This reissue on CD of my first album Jewel Eyes on my label Baioca Records is very special to me. I performed and recorded this music in New York during the late 1970's and early 1980's. The first two songs recorded were New Funk and Dance of the Clouds, with James Mason at Downtown Sound. Soon after, I began working with Portinho and Lincoln Goines, and we recorded Free, Cenote and Que Tu Quieres at Songshop with John Palerno. On these very different tracks, the rhythm section, led by Daniel Ponce and Portinho, found a new and exciting bridge between the rhythms of Brazil and Cuba. The title track Jewel Eyes was recorded in another Songshop session and, at the final date at Rite Track, I recorded Aurora, featuring Gato Barbieri, again with John at the helm. Gato's take on Aurora was exquisite and evocative and remains so today, 25 years after the initial recording. For this CD I've added a magical and powerful remix of Aurora by Paul Special, where Bill Washer's new and burning guitar track electrifies and Gato's tenor sax continues to soar.
Frank Ferrucci 2009

Frank's Commentary
"Jewel Eyes", my first Album, includes compositions I wrote and recorded from 1976 to 1980. My longtime friend, Chuck Auster, had formed Wren Records and asked me to make an Album for the label. At the time, I was performing and touring with Gato Barbieri, and when I was at home in New York, was performing regularly with my own group at Seventh Avenue South and Sounds of Brazil, with occasional shows at The Bottom Line, Dance Theater Workshop, Ali's Alley (Rashid Alley's club) I had recorded two of the songs at Downtown Sound with James Mason earlier. One was Dance of the Clouds, a piece I originally wrote for choreographer Martha Bowers' modern dance company Dance Theater, Etc. in New York. The other is New Funk which features the soprano saxophone of Jim Clouse and the solid as ever groove of Richie Morlaes, with whom I had toured with Gato and who was a member of my early bands . Associate Producer and Engineer John Palermo and I added additional tracks and remixed these at Song Shop Studios where we recorded and mixed most of the other songs on the album. In 1978, I began performing Jewel Eyes, which an exploration for me into the combination of funk, rock and jazz fusion rhythms with Arnold Schoenberg's Upper Structure Triad approach to harmony. Drummer Terry Silverlight was essential to this track. Percussionist Roger Squitero added his magic and subtle grooves to all of these tracks.

Here I've got to say a word about saxophonist Ed Palermo, who contributed so much to this album and my bands. Ed's soaring tone was the perfect match for these pieces. Ed is a great arranger and song writer himself and was playing with his Ed' Palermo's Big Band at Seventh Avenuse South at the same time I was performing there with my group

One day I showed up for a Gato rehearsal and there was a new drummer: the Brazilian master Portinho, who eventually taught me the meaning of "swing" in Brazilian music. Bassist Lincoln Goines was also on that tour, and when we returned, I formed a group with both of them to perform my compositions. Que Tu Quieres, Free and Cenote, are the result. I've recorded "Que Tu Quieres" several times since the "Jewel Eyes" sessions, but, at the time, we were looking for a congero for this piece, which moved between Samba and Salsa. Portinho brought a congero to the session who he said "was new in town, Cuban, and only spoke Spanish." In walked Daniel Ponce for his first New York recording session. You can hear the Port Allegre/Havana sauce in the conga solo at the end of the tune.

Free, a difficult piece to perform, is a fast Baiao, a rhythm from the state of Bahia, Brazil, with Portinho and Lincoln swinging and swinging. For this piece and "Cenote" I brought in Brazilian electric guitarist Claudio Celso who claimed to be a "rock guitarist". Listen to his solos on both these tunes and for the incredible energy he brings to them.

Cenote begins quietly, featuring the subtle and beautiful voice of Ilana Morillo. The piece does not remain subtle for long, and the rhythm builds and sound builds to a climatic guitar solo by Claudio Celso. Cenote is the Mayan term for well, evident in Central America. I was inspired to write "Cenote" by stories of sacrifice, worship, and the central communal nature of these sacred wells that I visited in Yucatan. Ilana's voice and Claudio's guttural guitar solo paint the extremes of this culture.

I had written the ballad Aurora for Gato, and, with my band, Ed Palermo played it with elemental emotion, I really wanted Gato to record it, so I asked him if he would. We recorded the tracks at Rite Track in New York with Richie, Lincoln, Roger, and friend and guitarist Bill Washer. Gato's sensual performance makes this recording of "Aurora" very special.


Tracks:
1. AURORA Remix (4:15)
Special Guest Artist: Gato Barbieri, Tenor Sax
Keyboards: Frank Ferrucci
Drums: Richie Morales
Bass: Lincoln Goines
Guitar: Bill Washer
Percussion: Roger Squitero

2. JEWEL EYES (5:28)
Keyboards: Frank Ferrucci
Drums: Terry Silverlight
Bass: Lincoln Goines
Saxophone: Ed Palermo
Percussion: Roger Squitero

3. QUE TU QUIERES (5:16)
Keyboards: Frank Ferrucci
Drums: Portinho
Bass: Lincoln Goines
Guitar: Claudio Celso
Congas: Daniel Ponce
Percussion: Portinho
Saxophone: Ed Palermo

4. NEW FUNK (4:59)
Keyboards: Frank Ferrucci
Drums: Richie Morales
Bass: Lincoln Goines
Saxophone: Jim Clouse
Percussion: Mustafa Ahmed


5. AURORA 1982(4:15)
Special Guest Artist: Gato Barbieri, Tenor Sax
Keyboards: Frank Ferrucci
Drums: Richie Morales
Bass: Lincoln Goines
Guitar: Bill Washer
Percussion: Roger Squitero

6. CENOTE (7:33)
Piano & Keyboards: Frank Ferrucci
Drums: Portinho
Bass: Lincoln Goines
Guitar: Claudio Celso
Congas: Daniel Ponce
Percussion: Portinho
Voice: Ilana Morillo

7. FREE (5:03)
Piano: Frank Ferrucci
Drums: Portinho
Bass: Lincoln Goines
Guitar: Claudio Celso
Congas: Daniel Ponce
Percussion: Portinho
Saxophone, Flute, Piccolo: Ed Palermo

8. DANCE OF THE CLOUDS (8:07)
Keyboards: Frank Ferrucci
Drums: Richie Morales
Bass: Lincoln Goines
Saxophone: Jim Clouse, Ed Palermo (Sax Solo)
Percussion: Roger Squitero
All selections composed and arranged by Frank Ferrucci
Copyright Leenalisa Music (BMI)
Producer: Frank Ferrucci
Associate Producer: John Palermo
Studios: Songshop, NYC/ Rite Track, NYC/ Crossfire, NYC/ Downtown Sound, NYC
Engineers: John Palermo, James Mason
Assistant Engineers: Jim Stasiak, Peter Darmi
Mastered by: Ted Jensen, Sterling Sound, NYC
Album Design: Mary Mattingly
Cover Illustration: Mary Mattingly
Photography: Cristina Taccone

Executive Producer: Chuck Auster

"That keyboardist/ composer Frank Ferrucci has stepped out of his customary role as sideman, arranger or musical composer will be good news to any who have seen or heard him perform around New York, or around the world on tour with Gato Barbieri.
For those unfamiliar with Frank's subtle, provocative style at the piano, Fender Rhodes or synthesizer, Frank'ss first solo recording provides a welcome change to the now formulized approaches to contemporary composition. Is it jazz? Rock? Latin? The diversity of Frank's talents- as composer, arranger, producer and performer- are impressive and just as impressive is the roster of players that serve up this tantalizing array of music.
Sparked by Frank's sense of aural color and fluid rhythmic perceptions, this album is a musical gem, providing the listener an opportunity to look through these "Jewel Eyes" rather than at them.

--Marc Silag, Musician Magazine