Forget the bio-pic...this is the real deal
A rare artefact - two Ray Charles concerts recorded for Brazilian television on 22nd August 1963, one day before his 33rd birthday.
The recordings (complete with Brazilian adverts, and subtitles naturally) have been transferred with meticulous care from the original tapes by those nice people at Rhino. And considering the age of the recordings they’re in pretty decent – black and white – shape. Both concerts feature 15 tracks, with only a limited amount of overlapping material. There’s some loss of quality on the second, but nothing to really spoil the experience.
Ray is backed by a backed his big band and the Raeletts - who are quite excellent. One of the quartet - Margie Hendrix - has a quite amazing soul voice and is worthy of the admission price alone. Listen to her trading lines with Ray on Don’t Set Me Free, and tell me you’re not moved.
But this is one aimed squarely at Ray Charles fans. And if you are one, this is well worth your pocket money. It’s rare and it’s genius.
Review by Pete Whalley