Album Remarks & Appraisals:
"With the 80th anniversary of Ray Charles' birth, a slew of releases, events and special editions had been planned. The most exciting recent CD to mark this celebration of the soul genius is this reissue of an album he recorded in concert at Los Angeles' Shrine Civic Auditorium in 1964. This date put Charles' classic working band (particularly saxophonists David "Fathead" Newman and Hank Crawford) within a horn-heavy large ensemble that included trombonist Julian Priester. The arrangements serve as yet another reminder of how incredibly Charles could swing an orchestra. But the star is clearly Charles' own voice, piano and organ lines, particularly as he shifts from the classical introduction of "I Got A Woman" to pure gospel-inflected shouts. On this previously unreleased version of "That Lucky Old Sun," his mournful moan remains as chilling now as it must have sounded 47 years ago. And "What I'd Say" is just as relentlessly funky. Interestingly enough, even though the album didn't reach the chart success that it should have, ABC-Paramount made a lot of money from its sales because Charles footed the bill for recording costs. So the company bought him a Cadillac." -DownBeat
Record Collector (magazine) (p.102) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "It's a remarkable performance, with highpoints including spectacular renditions of 'One Mint Julep,' 'I Got A Woman,' Hallelujah, I Love Her So' and 'What'd I Say.'"
Personnel: Ray Charles (vocals, piano); Sonny Forriest (guitar); Bill Pearson (flute, alto saxophone); Hank Crawford (alto saxophone); Leroy Cooper (baritone saxophone); John Hunt (trumpet, flugelhorn); Oliver Beener, Wallace Davenport, Phil Guilbeau (trumpet); Henderson Chambers, James Herbert, Julian Priester (trombone); Wilbert Hogan (drums); The Raelets (background vocals).
Audio Remasterer: Bob Fisher.
Liner Note Authors: Rick Ward; Bill Dahl.
Recording information: Shrine Civic Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA (09/20/1964).
Photographers: Rolf Ambor; Ray Hearne .
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
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