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Ray Sings Basie Swings [Super Audio CD - DSD]

Ray Charles, Count BasieAudio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 2012 $9.49  
Audio CD, 2006 $10.99  
Audio CD, Super Audio CD - DSD, 2007 --  

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Ray Sings Basie Swings + Genius Loves Company + Genius: The Ultimate Collection
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 25, 2007)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Super Audio CD - DSD
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B000UZ4FKQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,214 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fabulous...but a deceptive package January 9, 2007
Format:Audio CD
A 1973 vocal-only recording of Ray Charles at the absolute peak of his powers, matched to an outstanding big-band accompaniment by the "Count Basie Orchestra," a legacy band. The accompaniment was recorded in 2006, two years after Charles' death; William "Count" Basie died in 1984. In my humble, there are a couple of songs where the arrangement doesn't work well ("Every Saturday Night," for example), and I think "The Long and Winding Road" just wasn't a good choice for Ray Charles. That said, though, the album as a whole is simply jaw-dropping, and I play it constantly.

My complaint -- and it's a big one -- is the title, and the marketing. It's clear that almost half the reviewers here think that Count Basie is on this CD. He isn't, of course -- but you have to read carefully to figure that out. If I had first heard this on the P.A. at my local mega-bookstore, I would have stampeded to the counter, purchased it instantly, and then felt angry and betrayed to discover that Basie ain't there at all.

They picked the right band for the accompaniment -- but they have no right to fool people into thinking they're buying Ray and the Count. One star off an otherwise fantastic CD.

For the nay-sayers: I'm delighted that Concord produced this CD. It's the best "new" music I've heard in a long, long time. They found a pristine recording of the vocal track of a Ray Charles concert -- what are they supposed to do, throw it away? Our great vocal performers -- Ella, Ray, Frank, Elvis (make your own list) -- are all gone, and there's no one, NO ONE, out there of their stature and talent. If an unreleased performance turns up, then record companies are doing us a service by producing it -- and if the recording NEEDS enhancement, then do it.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This CD is the result of an unusual set of circumstances: old tapes of Ray's and Basie's band were found tucked away after years of lying around gathering dust. The Basie tapes were unusable but Ray's vocals could be worked on--and they were restored after a great deal of effort, thanks to Gregg Field and Seth Present. John Burk at Concord Records had the brilliant idea of matching up Ray's restored vocals to the beat of the current Count Basie band. The result is this electrifying CD.

The CD starts off strong with "Oh, What A Beautiful Morning" written by Rodgers and Hammerstein from the musical Oklahoma. An auspicious beginning indeed! The remastering and mixing is done to perfection throughout this CD; you would never know Ray's vocals were actually recorded 30 years before they were matched up with Count Basie's band! The joyous "Let The Good Times Roll" follows with an excellent musical arrangement and Ray's voice is in exceptional form as it is for all of these songs.

Other classic songs on this remarkable CD include "How Long Has This been Going On?;" "Busted;" "I Can't Stop Loving You;" "Look What They've Done To My Song" and "Georgia On My Mind." Another expressive and beautiful song on this CD is "Every Saturday Night" written by Jerry West and Silas Hogan.

Ray also attacks "The Long And Winding Road" written by The Beatles. The result is a very fine, artistic rendition yet it does not surpass The Beatles' original version of the song. This is a comparatively minor disappointment, however, because "The Long And Winding Road" still comes off well and the rest of the CD is very strong throughout.

Patti Austin deserves mention for her excellent vocal arrangements to recreate the sounds of The Raelettes.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The "Ray Charles & Count Basie Tapes". A must listen ! January 6, 2007
Format:Audio CD
Undiscovered genius until now!

From the Fantasy master tape vaults a rare treasure was unearthed. Vintage, never-before-released, absolutely stunning Ray Charles performances; 'Genius' in his prime, singing a bevy of timeless Charles classics including 'Let the Good Times Roll,' 'I Can't Stop Loving You,' and 'Georgia on My Mind.'

The only problem was that-while the power and nuance of Ray's vocals were recorded perfectly clearly-the accompanying big band parts on this 2-track stereo tape were, conversely, quite poorly-recorded and barely audible.

But Ray Charles vocal performances this good just had to be released and heard somehow.

Fortunately, with the benefit of modern recording technology and one of the most swinging big bands on the planet-today's Count Basie Orchestra under the direction of Bill Hughes-these rousing big band arrangements were recreated and re-recorded in sync with Ray's incredible vocal performances, with excellent results.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Stars - BUY it, Listen and LOVE it! November 20, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Who cares how this recording was made? It sounds beautiful! Ray is in EXCELLENT voice, and the Basie Band sounds outstanding as usual. It is still the best big band out there today.

Why criticize the technology when we should be thankful for it. This is a beautiful album for fans of Ray, Basie, or just darned good music.

6 out of 5 stars!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS! November 17, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Ray Charles and Count Basie? The R&B genius paired with the master of syncopated swing? Together?? On the same recording? Can it be true, and if so, why was I not informed about this sooner???

In actuality, the title is a bit misleading, but nevertheless, this disk contains some of the best Ray Charles recordings I've ever heard, and that is really saying something. It turns out that a record executive at Concord Records was sifting through the vault when he happened upon a reel-to-reel tape simply marked "Ray/Basie." Thinking that he just struck pure gold, the tapes were accessed, but it turns out that the box contained the two artists performing separately from one another. Furthermore, the Ray Charles recordings were poorly balanced, and presumed to be unusable. Then, the scribbling on the box provided the inspiration for a cure; If the historic recording doesn't exist, why not make it exist? So, two decades after the death of Count Basie, his orchestra was called in to provide instrumental back-up to Charles and his own band.

In theory, it sounds like it could be a mess, but the results are actually stellar. Charles has rarely sounded as inspired. He is at full power and completely in control on each of these recordings. Before hearing Ray Charles sing it, I presumed "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" to be one of those old standards that has been sucked dry of any possible interest. Here, Charles soars over a hot arrangement. In addition, the versions of "Let the Good Times Roll" and "How Long Has This Been Going On" are, without exaggeration, definitive. Familiar Charles classics like "Busted," "Crying Time," and "Georgia On My Mind" are fabulous as well, losing none of the impact of the original recordings, while adding an ambiance that makes them feel immediate.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT MUSICAL MIX
Published 3 months ago by Designer
5.0 out of 5 stars Ray is 'Genious'
The best of both worlds here with Ray backed up by one of the best jazz swing bands of all times equals a classic CD. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Payments FPS Account
5.0 out of 5 stars doctor Ray
The greatest singer since least 1900 with one of the best big bands makes for great listening.
This why he is called the greatest
Published 8 months ago by Wayne G. Bliesner
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of Ray's Best Stuff
Wow! What more could a Ray Charles fan ask for. Basie's big whom pin' band is a perfect foil for Ray's lyrics.
Published 8 months ago by R. Dalton
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow !
I have been looking for these cover tunes by Ray Charles for years. I found them all on one cd. I am ecstatic. The mix is outstanding. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Vince M. Barron
5.0 out of 5 stars just one track and you fly of the wall...
...I was just listening to "Let The Good Time Roll". How RC would have loved to jam with this BigBand! So much power and guts behind their playing. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Axel H. Baumgarten
5.0 out of 5 stars Basie & Ray! Do yourself a favor! Get it now!
Love both of them! What more can I sat? Loved the story behind the way it came to be recorded!
Published 11 months ago by Henry L. Reynolds
5.0 out of 5 stars Just wonderful
It was everything I hoped it to be and better! I just really love it
Klaus Limp my wife got the cd for me
Published 12 months ago by dagmar limp
5.0 out of 5 stars Best music ever
I love his music. This is a great addition to my 6 disk changer. Sounds great on my car CD player
Published 12 months ago by J. Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a great CD
We treasured this CD but lost it. So we had to order it again, and we enjoy playing it often.
Published 16 months ago by Constance Hollowell
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