It’s nearly 80 minutes of musical brilliance, presented by 17 songs. The Swiss Radio Jazz Series presents Ray Charles Orchestra, Zurich 1961 (The Montreaux Jazz Label, 2016).
It’s a legendary concert recording featuring a young Ray Charles at the start of a tour that was a turning point in his career. The performers are Ray Charles, piano and vocal; trumpets: Marcus Belgrave, Wallace Davenport, Phil Guilbeau and John Hunt; trombones: Henderson Chambers, Dickie Wells and Keg Johnson; Rudy Powell, alto saxophone; Hank Crawford, alto saxophone and band leader; David Newman, tenor saxophone and flute; Don Wilkerson, tenor saxophone; Leroy Cooper, baritone saxophone; Elbert “Sonny” Forriest, guitar; Edgar Willis, bass; Bruno Carr, drums; and Quincy Jones, arranger of several tracks. Background vocalists, the Raelettes, are Priscilla “Pat” Lyles, Margie Hendricks, Gwen Berry and Darlene McCrea.
Set highlights include “Happy Faces,” “My Baby,” “Sticks and Stones,” “Georgia on My Mind,” “Hit the Road, Jack” and “I Believe to My Soul.”