In The Evening (When The Sun Goes Down)
Recorded on 10 or 13 July 1963 in New York.
Ray’s take on this song almost seemed like a personal lesson in blues (re-)interpretation for Ella Fitzgerald, who released the song on her These Are The Blues album that same year. Where she stayed close to the pleasant, innocent melody lines of Leroy Carr (and the giants who recorded the song later, a.o. Leadbelly, Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy), Ray tore the lyrics and the notes apart, creating an elogy around that damned unlucky old sun going down every evening, letting the inimitable Phil Guilbeau add his trumpet blues to the lament.
Session personnel: Oliver Beener, Wallace Davenport, Phil Guilbeau, John Hunt, Roy Burrows, Floyd Jones, Curtis Miller – trumpets; Henderson Chambers, James Lee Harbert, Keg Johnson, Julian Priester, Fred Morden – trombones; Hank Crawford, Bill Pearson, Harold Minerve, Dan Turner – alto saxophones; James Clay, David Fathead Newman – tenor saxophones; Leroy Cooper – baritone saxophone; Al Hendrickson, Sonny Forriest – guitar; Joe Comfort, Edgar Willis – bass; Irving Cottler, Wilbert Hogan, Bob Thompson – drums.
Ray’s interpretation may well have evolved “on the road”: the first known live recording is from Paris, in May 1963 – even before the album version was recorded.
In 1975 in Madrid Ray revisited the material, mashing it up with other blues themes (like Stormy Monday), brewing it into his best recorded blues singing & piano masterpiece ever (and involving The Raelettes, in one of their best efforts ever!).
Update 13.02.2021: the video of this performance is no longer available on YouTube, please let me know in the comments below if you have any footage, thanks — Cyd