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15 February 2010

True To Life (1977)

  1. I Can See Clearly Now
  2. The Jealous Kind
  3. Oh, What A Beautiful Morning
  4. How Long Has This Been Going On (trumpet intro by Johnny Coles)
  5. Be My Love (tenor sax solo by Clifford Solomon)
  6. Anonymous Love (tenor sax solo by Clifford Solomon)
  7. Heavenly Music
  8. Game Number Nine
  9. Let It Be 
Ray cut a distribution deal with Atlantic for his Crossover releases. As the story goes, Ahmet Ertegun at Atlantic pushed Ray to record tracks that would connect with a younger audience, but Ray stood his ground and made the record his way. Ray's cover of the Johnny Nash tune I Can See Clearly Now reached #35 on the R&B charts. His soulful interpretation of Oh, What A Beautiful Morning stayed on his concert set lists until the end.
Ray produced the tracks over a long period of time, working with a mix of road musicians and studio musicians. Cliff Hugo played bass on some of the sessions (most notably #3); Harold Mason played drums on that same taping*, and Clifford Solomon played (overdubbed) tenor sax solos on Be my love and Anonymous love.** Chuck Findley played lead (slide) trumpet on several tunes.*** Johnny Coles played the trumpet intro on #4.****
Recorded with the Ray Charles Orchestra and The Raelettes. Arrangers: Larry Mahoberack, Sid Feller, Roger Neumann, and Ray Charles. The latter also took care of engineering.

Crossover/Atlantic 19142, 1977-10.

* Cliff remembers: "I did play on Oh ,What A Beautiful Morning [... with] Harold Mason on drums. I did a bunch of sessions for [Ray] - about 4 days, maybe more, of big band [including] a few late night sessions with just him - what a trip!!! I do remember we were doing a session and Ernest [Vantrease] was there. We were hanging and Ray got there and said 'A-A- check this out' and starts playing the Oh thing. I got the impression that it came to him either on the way to RPM or not too long before that. We recorded it a few weeks later." ** Info provided by Solomon to Joël Dufour. ***Info provided by Findley to David Hoffman. Jeff Conrad recalls seeing Chuck Findley (slide trumpet), Oscar Brashaer (trumpet), Gary Grant (trumpet), and Charlie Loper (trombone) coming out of the studio while he was waiting to go in. **** Doug Martin: "Ray told me to play it [live] the way Johnny Coles played it [in the studio...]".

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