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26 February 2010

Ray Sings, Basie Swings (1977/2006)

  1. Oh, What A Beautiful Morning
  2. Let The Good Times Roll
  3. How Long Has This Been Going On
  4. Every Saturday Night  
  5. Busted   
  6. Crying Time  
  7. I Can't Stop Loving You  
  8. Come Live With Me 
  9. Feel So Bad
  10. The Long And Winding Road 
  11. Look What They've Done To My Song
  12. Georgia On My Mind 
From Billboard, 11 August 1973.
In that year Ray of course played 
with his own Orchestra.
Ray Sings, Basie Swings combined archival Ray Charles vocal recordings (according to Concord taped in 1973 with the Count Basie Orchestra*) with new performances by a current (2006) Count Basie (show) Orchestra. Ray Sings, Basie Swings was created with the the latest recording and mixing technology. See Wikipedia for personnel listing.
Charles is singing his guts out (his voice was probably never better than in the mid 1970s), but he never played with the Basie orchestra, so adding the Basie b(r)and to this production was just a marketing trick. The new arrangements lack balls, and the ensemble lacks the personality of Charles' best orchestra line-ups (a Ray Charles All Stars band and any choice of the historical Raelettes would surely have done a much better job).
CD: Concord Records, 3 October 2006, ASIN: B000H0MNOE.

* This dating in 1973 and the claim that Ray was recorded playing with the Count Basie Orchestra are problematic, and probably incorrect, since a) Oh, What A Beautiful Morning and How Long Has This Been Going On were first released in 1977, b) no live programs with a co-billing of Ray Charles and Count Basie are known after 1973 (nor is there even a sliver of evidence that they ever played together).


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