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Friday, June 4, 2021

The Genius Of Ray Charles


Two Years Of Torture

The Genius Of Ray Charles
Atlantic Recording Corporation 
Record Engineers: Bill Schuartau and Tom Dowd
Cover Photo: Lee Friedlander
Cover Design: Marvin Israel
Supervisions: Nesuhi Ertegun and Jerry Wexler


On "Let The Good Times Roll," "Alesander's Ragtime Band" and "Deed I Do" is Ray Charles, piano and vocals; Clark Terry, Ernie Royal, Joe Newman, Snookie Yong, Marcus Belgrave and John Hunt, trumpets; Melha Liston, Quentin Jackson, Thomas Mitchell and Al Gray, trombones; Frank Wess, flute, alto sax or tenor sax; Marshall Royal, alto sax; Paul Gonsalves, Zoot Sims and David Newman, tenor saxes; Charlie Fowlkes and Bennie Crawford, baritone saxes; Freddie Greene, guitar; Eddie Jones and Edgar Willis, basses; Charlie Persip and Teagle Fleming drums. On "Alexander's Ragtime Band, Jose Mangual, bongo and drums, is added.

On "It Had To Be You," "Two Years Of Torture" and " When Your Lover Has Gone," the personnel is the same except that Billy Mitchell replaces Zoot Sims on tenor sax.

On "Just For A Thrill," "You Won't Let Me Go," "Tell Me You'll Wait For Me," "Don't Let The Sun Catch You Cryin'", "Am I Blue" and "Come Rain Or Shine," Ray Charles, piano and vocals, is accompanied by Allen Hamilton, guitar; Wendell Marshall, bass; Ted Sommer, drums; Bob Brookmeyer, trombone; and a large orchestra of woodwinds and strings (Harryt Lookofsky, concert master).

On "Alexander's Ragtime Band," trumpet solo is by Marcus Belgrave.

On "Two Years Of Torture," the tenor sax solo is by Paul Gonsalves.

On "Let The Good Times Roll," "It Had To Be You," "When Your Lover Has Gone" and "Deed I Do," the tenor solos are by David "Fathead" Newman.

From the back cover: Ray was Quincey's (Jones) first influence as a an arranger. Charles had been born in Albany, Georgia, in 1932, was moved to Greenfield, Florida, when he was a baby. At six, he was left blind after an illness. He studied music at a school for the blind in St. Augustine, Florida. Ray was orphaned at 15, and began playing professionally around Florida. For the next two years, he also began to gain experience as a singer and arranger.

At 17, he settled in Seattle and instituted the Maxim Trio. Quincy, who grew up in Seattle, remembers the trio as being "very modern." He sang like Nat Cole with a little Charles Brown. Although he wasn't singing blues as much then, he always sang with that feeling. He also was playing clarinet and alto then, and he was writing. He did some arranging for a band I was in then, Bumps Blackwell's junior band, whose singer was Ernestine Anderson. I remember even then that when Ray came into a session, it came to life."

"He showed me how to voice the first bass section writing I ever did", Quincy adds. "He really showed me the function of an arranger, what he was capable of doing. He made everything breathe for me. When he wrote, he put life into every note."

Among Ray's other qualities, Quincy underlines "hi fantastic sense of humor and his basic honesty. And he's so direct and unselfconscious."

Let The Good Times Roll
It Had To Be You
Alexander's Ragtime Band
Two Years Of Torture
When Your Lover Has Gone
Deed I Do
Just For A Thrill
You Won't Let Me Go
Tell Me You'll Wait For Me
Don't Let The Sun Catch You Cryin'
Am I Blue
Come Rain Or Come Shine

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