Barbara Roy


Earth, Wind & Fire... Love, Peace & Happiness... Faith, Hope & Charity... The seventies brought a number of three-noun groups onto the disco charts with varying degrees of success. Ranking up there with the best of them was the relatively short-lived Roulette Records act Ecstasy, Passion & Pain, considered disco's first super-group. Althought they only released one album and a handful of singles for the label, their impact was to be felt well into future decades. Formed in 1973, in New York, it's seemingly fluid membership of between 5 and 8 persons was entirely dominated by Barbara (Gaskins) Roy. We'll come back to Ms. B. later, let's explore her colleagues first, all of whom were instrumentalists (as was Barbara with her jammin' big guitar) which allowed the group to perform as a self-contained unit. The other members included Althea Cookie Smith, rare for an unusual young lady in that she was the group's drummer, while the remainder of the percussion work on their recordings came from Carl Jordan, later replaced by Alan Tizer. Joseph Williams Junior provided musical support on bass and Jimmy Clark was co-guitarist (with Ms. B.) for their entire Roulette recordings. Then there was keyboardist Ronald Foster... Ronnie Foster was born in 1950 in New York. By the early 1970's he was already making jazz albums for Blue Note Records and his move into E.P. & P. at a time when he was establishing himself as a solo performer suggests that either no one exp...

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