Audio Mixers: Rick Seaburg; Mingo Cervantes.
Recording information: Triad Recording Studios, Fresno, CA.
Arrangers: Jose Bueno; Dave "King" Macias.
Virtually all of Ray Camacho's recordings reveal his chameleon-like ability to change musical direction with the cultural zeitgeist. From roots rock, doo wop, and soul to Latin funk, psych, and boogaloo, Camacho and his outrageously talented musicians could -- and did -- play it all. Reach Out was cut for California Artists and released in 1979. It hit the scene at the end of disco's reign, but these cats sound like that party is just getting started. It seamlessly weds smooth brown-eyed soul, punchy, jazzy funk, and dancefloor boogie. The layers of Latin percussion don't hurt either. Things start on the sweet soul tip with the title track, a slow burner with an airy synth line amid acoustic piano, shuffling drums, and stacked layers of male and female vocals. Things pick up with the two best-known cuts. First is "New York," with its salsa congas, wah-wah guitar, and skittery bassline, as Camacho's silky yet expressive voice rides the groove. "Hollywood" starts midtempo but picks up quickly. Swinging, feisty R&B horns, compressed snare breaks, and a chorus of female vocals introduce Camacho's souled-out, good-time lead, creating an infectious dance tune. Other standouts include the anthemic floor burner "Shake What You Got" and the fingerpopping bump of "Nobody But You" before the set is carried out by the massive Latin funk jam "Nothin' But a Party." Reach Out has been reissued several internationally, and for good reason. It's a gem from the era that remains a stone-cold groover in the 21st century. ~ Thom Jurek
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