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Big Black (Jazz)

Danny Ray has gotten far more ink for his colorful name than for his importance as a fine percussionist and one of the '60s better practitioners of Afro-Cuban rhythms within the jazz context. Ray got his nickname from an older brother when he showed interest in drumming as a child. He heard the conga being used in Cuban music on a radio program while in high school, and he subsequently traveled to Florida and the Bahamas. Ray spent five years alternating between these areas. During that time he played with Lord Flea's Calypso Band in the Bahamas and with the Calypso Eddie Trio. He also worked in Miami with Jack Costanzo, Moe Koffman, and the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra. Ray later formed a band with Jamaican trumpeter Billy Cook in Nassau and began exploring a mix of Caribbean and jazz rhythms. During the '60s he worked often with Randy Weston, as well as Ray Bryant, Johnny Barracuda, Junior Cook, and Eric Dolphy. He was featured at the Caribbean Pavilion at the 1965 World's Fair in New York City and played with Dizzy Gillespie both at the fair and that year's Newport Jazz Festival. ~ Ron Wynn, Rovi
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Selected Discography

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Track List: Ethnic Fusion

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