Ray Charles - Live
Total time: 71:20
Bitrate: 320 kbps
A repackaging of Ray Charles In Newport and Ray Charles In Person presents concerts from 1958 and 1959 that found Charles in peak form, performing some of his best-known and Jazz R&B hits.
the greatness of this album. Ray was touring with his band in the 50's, and they played as a concent in a stadium it Atlanta. An engineer at one of the radio stations recorded the occasion on a one track tape recorder using a single microphone. The result was issued as an LP, "Ray Charles in Atlanta", and it is one of the most extraordinary albums of all time. First, the recording is technicaly perfect. The band is heard with perfect clarity and balance, and, the audience is also picked up, and you can hear the shouting, whooping, the give and take with the audience, and the extraordinary energy in what was a typical concert of Ray Charles playing to his own audience. Many of the tunes were or became stone classics, known to every funk and blues musician in the country and to most of the population at large. Ray Charles was revered like no other musician.
In the same time frame, Ray Charles took his band to the Newport Jazz festival for what was a controversial appearance. Odd, in that this is one of the greatest jazz bands of all time. Again the proceedings were recorded, and issued as "Ray Charles at Newport". Again, it was an astonishing record. The tunes from these two LP's, ".. in Atlanta" and ".. in Newport" make up this CD. The tunes make up the bulk of Charles' best recorded work. It is some of the most remarkable music America has produced. These are the best records Charles has made.
Why is this music so good? Ray Charles is a vocalist unlike any other. He does not 'sing' a song, he communicates the song to you soul to soul. He drives it into your brain. The tunes on this record are his full effect masterpieces. These include uptempo numbers like "I Got a Woman", "Talking 'bout You", "Tell the Truth", and "What'd I Say", hard driving slow blues like "The Night Time is the Right Time", and the slow show stoppers like "A Fool For You" and "Drown in My Own Tears". Once Dizzy Gillespie played with Ray, and he commented after the gig that he walked halfway across the stage between beats one and two of "Drown in My Own Tears". There are also jazz tunes that the band played to pump the crowd, like "Hot Rod", "Blues Waltz" and "Frenesi". The band was so unique that these tunes constitute their own category, they are straight ahead jazz, but only the Ray Charles band could play jazz this hard driving and funky.
Every tune on this CD deserves comment and analysis. There are no weak sisters. Every tune is a classic. Take for example, "The Night Time..". The sax intro played by David "Fathead" Newman is a classic in itself! The tune is probably the most lowdown blues ever recorded. It is the definition of funk. Marjorie Hendrik's verses are the wildest wild abandon you will hear on record. And when Ray pulls it all together at the end, it is ultimately down and refined at the same time, and also ultimately hard driven and swinging. This is the essence of Ray, the rawest yet at the same time the most nuanced voice, carrying more energy than any other voice but at the same time refined beyond description.
Well, what did you expect? Ray Charles is a genius. That's no jive. This CD is Ray Charles at his best. It is in some ways like a religious screed. ~ Will Flannery
If you are for an early album of Ray Charles singing live as we conduct a music appreciation lesson of his work in the wake of his death this week, then "Ray Charles Live" takes us back as far as we can go. While this represents two of his first eight albums, 1958's "Ray Charles at Newport" and 1960's "Ray Charles in Person," and the album's sixteen tracks split down the middle between those works, Atlantic has played with the order a bit and it is hard to complain about the results
The first eight tracks were recorded at the Newport Jazz Festival on July 5, 1958, and prove once again that there were few performers as powerful as Charles when he got going. The idea that he was playing R&B and singing gospel is so inadequate to the fusion of those forms that created what we know love as soul music. The standout tracks are "Night Time is the Right Time," the classic "I Got a Woman" (written by Charles and trumpeter Renald Richard), and "Talkin' 'Bout You."
The last eight come from a May 28, 1959 concert in Atlanta where the stand out track, as you would expect, is his thrilling version of "What'd I Say." It has to come last, because there is no place left to go after that one. Before that point the highlights are Charles doing his take on some big band songs, "Yes Indeed!" and "Frenesi." Having two version of "Night Time is the Right Time" is a treat (of course I always see the cast of "The Cosby Show" doing it in my mind's eye every time I hear it). But, wow, how strong this album ends, with "Tell the Truth" and a super slowed down version of "Drown In My Own Tears" before Charles sends the congregation home with "What I'd Say."
No wonder Ray Charles was a popular concert draw for almost half a century of powerful performances. With the tracks from these two early albums you get spirited performances of Charles doing most of the songs that established his reputation and which are pretty much the ones that you want to be listening to this week. When Charles signed with ABC and recorded songs like "Hit the Road, Jack" he was his most popular, but I still think there was more raw power during his early years at Atlantic. This album would just be more proof along those lines. ~ Lawrance M. Bernabo
Ray Charles (Piano, Electric Piano, Alto Saxophone and Vocals)
David Newman (Tenor Saxophone)
Hank Crawford (Baritone Saxophone)
Lee Harper (Trumpet)
Marcus Belgrave (Trumpet)
Edgar Willis (Double Bass)
Richie Goldberg (Drums)
Ray Charles - Live Tracks:
01. Hot Rod (Ray Charles) 3:43
02. Blues Waltz (Max Roach) 6:29
03. In A Little Spanish Town (Mabel Wayne/Sam Lewis/Joe Young) 3:47
04. Sherry (Hank Crawford) 4:18
05. The Right Time (Lou Herman) 4:19
06. A Fool For You (Ray Charles) 7:15
07. I Got A Woman (Ray Charles) 6:24
08. Talkin' 'Bout You (Ray Charles) 4:26
09. Swanee River Rock (Ray Charles) 2:05
10. Yes Indeed! (Sy Oliver) 2:23
11. The Right Time (Lou Herman) 4:06
12. Frenesi (Alberto Dominguez/Ray Charles/S.K. Russell) 4:58
13. The Spiral-Feel (Milt Jackson) 4:08
14. Tell The Truth (Lowman Pauling) 2:46
15. Drown In My Own Tears (Henry Glover) 6:12
16. What'd I Say (Ray Charles) 4:01
Tracks 01-10 were recorded at The Newport Jazz Festival, on July 5, 1958
Tracks 11-16 were recorded at Herndon Stadium, Atlanta, on May 28, 1959