Ray Charles – Live In Concert (1964/2012) DSF DSD64

Ray Charles – Live In Concert (1964/2012)
DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz  | Time – 41:03 minutes | 1,62 GB | Genre: Jazz
Source: ISO SACD | ©  ABC-Paramount

In the half-century between his earliest recordings in the 1950s and his death in 2004, Ray Charles ascended to icon status by leaving his mark on virtually every form of American popular music that emerged in the latter half of the 20th century. Nowhere was this more evident than in his live performances, where one was likely to hear shades of blues, soul, R&B, jazz, gospel, country and more in a single evening – indeed, sometimes in a single song. To put it simply, the Right Reverend did it all.

All of these subtle shades and styles are evident on Ray Charles Live In Concert. Originally released by ABC-Paramount in early 1965, Live In Concert captured Ray at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles in September 1964. “There could be no more uplifting live musical experience than digging Ray Charles and his mighty orchestra in their prime,” says roots music historian Bill Dahl. Indeed, the 15-piece orchestra backing Ray on this date – assembled just a few years earlier in 1961 – boasted no less than a dozen horns, including formidable saxophonists David “Fathead” Newman, Hank Crawford and Leroy “Hog” Cooper, all of whom had been with Ray since his days as a leader of smaller combos.
A huge piece of the Ray Charles legacy is his mastery of any style he touched, and his ability to make it his own in a way that no other artist could – powers that can only come from an innate sense of adventure and spontaneity that are fully evident in Ray Charles Live In Concert.

This classic 1964 recording by Ray Charles includes 12 vintage tracks performed to perfection. His voice is in great shape, and the recording by Wally Heider is a marvel for its day; all the instruments are placed nicely with Charles’ voice out front where it belongs. There’s a slinky version of “Hallelujah I Love Her So,” the musicians creating nice little changes behind Charles’ soulful nuances. The singer tells us Miss Lillian Ford of the Raelets “helps out” on “Don’t Set Me Free”; it’s a duet and a nice change of pace. Rick Ward’s tacky liner notes fail to say who is backing up the singer at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, except for David “Fathead” Newman credited with the tenor solo on “Swing a Little Taste,” the opening track. Not to be confused with the 1973 re-release Ray Charles Live, which is comprised of 1958 and 1959 concerts, this album is called Live in Concert, and is Charles in Los Angeles after a Japanese tour in 1964. “What I’d Say” and a nice version of “Margie” are here, along with a six-minute take on “I Gotta Woman.” For the finale he has the Ray Charles Choir come out to help close the show with a marching-band version of “Pop Goes the Weasel.” The 12 tracks are priceless Ray Charles, especially the reinvention of “You Don’t Know Me,” stirringly different from his timeless hit version but just as impressive. Excellent photos by Ray Hearne, especially the cover profile. –Joe Viglione, AllMusic

The Concord Music group inaugurated a release cycle celebrating Ray Charles’ 80th birthday with Rare Genius: The Undiscovered Masters (Concord Records, 2010). Now, its reissue of Ray Charles Live in Concert, expanded with previously unreleased material from the same September 20, 1964 performance at the Shrine Civic Auditorium in Los Angeles, captures Charles enjoying the pinnacle of his powers.
Charles released few commercial live recordings in the 1950s and ’60s, when his considerable talent and influence were being most potently felt in American music. Ray Charles at Newport (Atlantic) was release in 1959, recorded the year before. A year later, Charles released Ray Charles in Person (Atlantic, 1960), a live concert captured in May 1959, at Morris Brown College. These two recordings were combined and rereleased as the well-known Ray Charles Live (Atlantic, 1987), and are the live testaments to Charles’ stay with Atlantic Records.
Charles moved to ABC Records in November 1959 when his contract with Atlantic concluded. He immediately released The Genius Hits the Road (ABC-Paramount, 1960) and the single “Georgia on my Mind,” launching him into super-stardom. Live in Concert was released in 1965, as a 12-selection LP, well-representing his ABC catalog of the time. This CD reissue adds nine songs to the original release, spotlighting Charles’s game changing Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music (ABC-Paramount, 1962).
While remaining a compelling performer well into his long career, Charles was never more essential than on this live recording. He had not grown bored with his material yet, and he played and sang with all to the playful soul and sensuality he had brought to the music 15 years before. He introduces and sings “I Got A Woman” (1955) like it was recorded the previous day, respecting the song the for what it provided him—and us (The Rolling Stones should be so graceful). He plays organ on “Georgia on my Mind,” infusing more soul than thought possible into the Carmichael/Gorrell classic.
Of the previously unreleased material (besides “Georgia”) “That Luck Old Sun,” “Busted” and “My Baby (I Love Her, Yes I Do)” make the greatest additions to the original release. Charles fronts a big band, the format he used with such success a few years earlier on Genius + Soul = Jazz! (reissued Concord, 2010). He has both alto saxophonist Hank Crawford and tenor saxophonist David “Fathead” Newman in the horn section, giving a touch of the older days. This is prime genius in his prime. The finest testament of the power Ray Charles wielded live in concert. –C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz


1 Opening 0:35
2 Band: Swing A Little Taste 3:35
3 I Gotta Woman 6:10
4 Margie 2:29
5 You Don’t Know Me 3:14
6 Hide Nor Hair 2:57
7 Baby, Don’t You Cry 2:35
8 Makin’ Whoopee 6:17
9 Hallelujah I Love Her So 2:55
10 Don’t Set Me Fee 3:58
11 What’d I Say 4:30
12 Finale 1:55

Ray Charles – piano, Hammond organ (on “One Mint Julep”, “Georgia On My Mind”, “That Lucky Old Sun” and the intro to “What’d I Say?”), vocals
Oliver Beener – trumpet
Wallace Davenport – trumpet
Philip Guilbeau – trumpet
John Hunt – trumpet, flugelhorn
Henderson Chambers – trombone
James Harbert – trombone
Frederic “Keg” Johnson – trombone
Julian Priester – trombone
Bennie “Hank” Crawford – alto saxophone
William “Buddy” Pearson – alto saxophone, flute
David “Fathead” Newman – tenor saxophone
Leroy “Hog” Cooper – baritone saxophone
Elbert “Sonny” Forriest – guitar
Edgar Willis – bass
Wilbert Hogan – drums
The Raeletts (Gwen Berry, Lillian Forte, Pat Lyle, Darlene MacRae) – backing vocals

Recorded: 1964 September 20, Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, California




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