Presenting his third offering as leader, veteran keyboardist and pianist Ray Lyon crafts an album of contemporary music containing a strong smooth jazz flavor with elements of jazz fusion and a bit of funk to make it interesting. A talented artist, several of the instrumental pieces on the repertoire features Lyon playing and sequencing all of the instruments. On this recording, Lyon plays the keyboards, drum, bass, guitar and synthesizer.
Not completely alone however, Lyon enlists the help of four others sharing the duties on the drums while Ed Maina plays the tenor sax on "Warrior Joy." Included for the first time on a Lyon project are two vocals provided by Rick Krive, who compliments the keyboardist on the sensational opening track "Up The Spiral Stairs," clearly beginning the album with the best first as opposed to saving it for last. Krive also appears on the soft and smooth laden ballad-like "On The Smooth of The Hill" featuring Lyon on the synthesizer while Jonathan C. Genck performs on the cymbals on light airy and beautiful song.
Providing a slight change in the direction of the music, "Warrior Joy" starts off with a funky groove heavily diced with power drumming from Jonathan Joseph and infused with a brief tasteful sax solo from Maina while Lyons is captivating with his play on the guitar and keyboards. The majority of the music however clearly has that smooth jazz bent to it like such tracks as the engaging "Keep Going," the fusion-tinged "Is It You or The World" and the finale of "Even Now A Glimpse." The title tune reminds you of the Pat Metheny influence here a number where Lyon excels on the instruments.
Beginning To See is without question a gem of a recording as Ray Lyon pens exciting new compositions and delivers a first-rate recording with a monster performance on the instruments. Whether it’s smooth jazz you favor or plain straight ahead jazz, this album is bound to make an impression.