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04 November 2011

The Montreux 1997 Bonus: 3 Ray Charles Orchestra Pieces

The concert in Montreux on July 19th, 1997 is one of the best documented shows of the Ray Charles group. The concert was videotaped with 7 or 8 cameras, the sound recording had studio quality, and the show's director didn't miss a beat, editing an entirely relevant final montage of luscious close-ups and wider shots.
All music footage seems to have survived, including all four instrumentals that were played by the Ray Charles Orchestra that night.* (Only circulating among fans, there's even a few minutes of documentary video of the stage preparations).
The Blu-ray edition of the concert (Eagle Rock, 2008) has a unique interview with Ray, where he comments on all tracks that were part of the basic edition. As a second bonus this rare DVD also presents three more  instrumentals by the Ray Charles Orchestra:

1. Just Friends (solos by Steve Elliott, Ken Scharf)
2. Beatrice (solos by Wayne Coniglio, David Hoffman)
3. Pas-Se-O-Ne Blues (solos by Rudy Johnson, David Hoffman, Ken Scharf)

#1, Just Friends arranged by Bob Florence.
#2, Beatrice arranged by Wayne Coniglio).
# 3, Pas-Se-O-Ne Blues, was first taped for the album My Kind Of Jazz (1970), but this remains the only known live recording. The beautiful solo by Rudy Johnson on Pas-Se-O-Ne is essential jazz history. Johnson played with the band for a quarter of a century, but precious few of his solos have been captured on video.

Ted Murdock, Roger Ingram, David Hoffman, Ken Scharf - trumpets; Mike Guerrier, Steve Sigmund, Clay Lawrey, Wayne Coniglio - trombones; Al Waters, Al Jackson, Steve Elliott, Rudy Johnson, James Farnsworth - saxophones; Kenny Carr - guitar; Tom Fowler - bass; Ernest Vantrease - keyboards; Peter Turre - drums.

*The 4th instrumental was David Hoffman's Forty Pound Limit, which was part of the basic DVD release; see this

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