Ray Sings, Basie Swings

Ray Sings, Basie Swings

5.0 2
by Ray Charles
     
 

Ray Charles meets Count Basie? Well, not quite. In this technological masterwork, tapes of Charles’ vocals from 1970s-era live performances have been digitally married to contemporary studio performances by the Basie band. That’s the current Basie band, with no sign of the long-departed leader and hardly any of the established band members who brought this venerable… See more details below

Overview

Ray Charles meets Count Basie? Well, not quite. In this technological masterwork, tapes of Charles’ vocals from 1970s-era live performances have been digitally married to contemporary studio performances by the Basie band. That’s the current Basie band, with no sign of the long-departed leader and hardly any of the established band members who brought this venerable swing unit to fame. Caveats about billing and authenticity aside, this project works beautifully on its own 21st-century terms. Charles is in spectacular voice, giving soulful and nuanced readings to some of his signature songs, while the Basie band proves that swinging is still in its genetic makeup. The technological union sounds flawless, as do the new arrangements; the band always supporting Charles, never drawing attention away from his incomparable singing. Glorious versions of “The Long and Winding Road,” “Busted,” “Georgia,” and others demonstrate how vital Charles remained some four decades into his amazing career. Studio wizardry has rarely paid off so well.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jeff Tamarkin
Ray Sings, Basie Swings, huh? Hmm, well, yes and no. You see, the story goes something like this. In 2005, Concord Records exec John Burk, who produced Ray Charles' superb late-career, Grammy-winning Genius Loves Company, found a reel of tape simply labeled "Ray/Basie." Upon further analysis, it was determined that the 1973 recording featured Ray Charles backed by his own band -- Count Basie and his band had actually recorded earlier that day. Charles' vocal was exceptionally prominent in the mix and at first it was thought that this potentially momentous discovery would prove unable to bear fruit. But then Burk brainstormed and decided to bring the current Count Basie Orchestra -- whose leader died in 1984 -- into the studio to lay tracks behind Charles' vocals. So there's no Basie on Ray Sings, Basie Swings, but that's merely a technicality, because there is some great music. Charles was in fine form vocally on this mix of remakes of his early ABC-Paramount-era hits and then-recent material. The consecutive reworkings of "Busted," "Cryin' Time," and "I Can't Stop Loving You," three of his defining Top Ten hits of the early '60s, are given brassy, bluesy treatments here, and standards ranging from Oscar Hammerstein II's "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" to the Beatles' "The Long and Winding Road" are transformed in Charles' hands. The set-closing "Georgia on My Mind," as close to a signature song as Charles had, is given a tender, minimalist reading, but the track preceding it, "Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma," picked up from the folk-pop singer Melanie, is quite possibly the album's highlight. It's appeared on other Ray Charles compilations before, but the gospelized, testifyin' version featured here has got to be the liveliest take on that song anyone's ever devised. So, yeah, there's no Count Basie to be found here, but his namesake orchestra does him proud. For one of those postmortem studio patch jobs that owes as much to technology as talent, it's a fine addition to the Ray Charles oeuvre, as long as one can get past the semi-false advertising of its title.
San Francisco Chronicle - Lee Hildebrand
The results are uniformly strong and superior in some ways to Charles' recordings with his own orchestra.
Newark Star-Ledger - Bradley Bambarger
The rhythm and reeds swing slowly around Charles like a new frame for a long-lost Van Gogh; however beautiful that frame and amazing the rescue, it's the stunning emotional richness of the singing that feels like the miracle.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/03/2006
Label:
Concord Records
UPC:
0888072300262
catalogNumber:
30026

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Oh, What a Beautiful Morning  -  Count Basie Orchestra
  2. Let the Good Times Roll  -  Count Basie Orchestra
  3. How Long Has This Been Going On?  -  Count Basie Orchestra
  4. Every Saturday Night  -  Count Basie Orchestra
  5. Busted  -  Count Basie Orchestra
  6. Crying Time  -  Count Basie Orchestra
  7. I Can't Stop Loving You  -  Count Basie Orchestra
  8. Come Live with Me  -  Count Basie Orchestra
  9. Feel So Bad  -  Count Basie Orchestra
  10. The Long and Winding Road  -  Count Basie Orchestra
  11. Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma  -  Count Basie Orchestra
  12. Georgia on My Mind  -  Count Basie Orchestra

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ray Charles   Primary Artist
Patti Austin   Track Performer
Tom Scott   Conductor
John Chiodini   Musician
Maxi Anderson   Track Performer
Clarence Banks   Trombone
Scotty Barnhart   Trumpet,Soloist
Chuck Berghofer   Musician
Jim Cox   Musician
Joey DeFrancesco   Organ,Hammond Organ,Soloist
Lynne Fiddmont   Track Performer
Doug Lawrence   Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Soloist
James Leary   Bass,Rhythm Section
Andy Martin   Musician
Marshall McDonald   Flute,Alto Saxophone
Butch Miles   Drums,Rhythm Section
Darlene Perry   Track Performer
Sharon Perry   Track Performer
Mike Williams   Trumpet,Soloist
Shelly Berg   Conductor,Musician
Gregg Field   Conductor,Musician
John Williams   Baritone Saxophone
Sandy Simmons   Track Performer
Wayne Bergeron   Musician
Valerie Pinkston   Track Performer
Lorraine Perry   Track Performer
Will Matthews   Guitar,Rhythm Section
Doug Miller   Tenor Saxophone
Barry K. Cooper   Bass Trombone
Shawn C. Edmonds   Trumpet
Dave Keim   Trombone
Endré Rice   Trumpet
Tony Suggs   Piano,Soloist,Rhythm Section
Grant Langford   Alto Saxophone

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Don Gibson   Composer
Buck Owens   Composer
Patti Austin   Vocal Arrangements
Hoagy Carmichael   Composer
John Lennon   Composer
Paul McCartney   Composer
Quincy Jones   Arranger,Author
Tom Scott   Arranger
Roger Neumann   Arranger
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Silas Hogan   Composer
Joe Adams   Producer,Executive Producer
Felice Bryant   Composer
Boudleaux Bryant   Composer
John Burk   Producer,Executive Producer
John Clayton   Arranger
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Oscar Hammerstein   Composer
Harlan Howard   Composer
Bill Hughes   Orchestra Director
Larry Muhoberac   Arranger
Don Murray   Engineer
Charles Paakkari   Engineer
Melanie Safka   Composer
Jerry West   Composer
Shelly Berg   Arranger
Gregg Field   Producer,Engineer,Vocal Arrangements
David Ritz   Liner Notes
Stuart Gorrell   Composer
Aaron A. Woodward   Executive Producer
Abbey Anna   Art Direction
Steve Genewick   Engineer
Fleecie Moore   Composer
Leslie Temple   Composer
Sam Theard   Composer
James Johnson   Composer
Seth Presant   Engineer
Bill Airey Smith   Engineer
Andrew Pham   Art Direction

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