The collaborations of Dizzy Gillespie and Lalo Schifrin went back to the early 1960s when the young Argentinian played piano in Gillespie's quintet. Schifrin's Gillespiana, a suite written for Gillespie and a big band, became one of the best known works of the era and its section called "Blues" a milestone in Schifrin's career. In 1977, Schifrin was established as a successful composer for television and movies but had maintained close ties with his former employer, who asked him to write the music that became Free Ride. The emphasis was on the funky pop side of jazz soul music. The electronic instruments included a synthesizer and the guitar of the appropriately nicknamed Wah Wah Watson. Also on hand among the backup musicians were Jerome Richardson, Oscar Brashear, Ernie Watts, and other stalwarts of the Los Angeles studio scene.
with Lalo Schifrin, Oscar Brashear, Jack H. Laubach, Lew McCreary, James Horn, Ernie Watts, Jerome Richardson, Ray Parker, Jr., Lee Ritenour, Wah Wah Watson, Wilton Felder, Ed Green, Paulinho Da Costa, Sonny Burke