Written by
Bob Stumpel

November 2

Just For A Thrill

Album 1959 Genius

Album: The Genius Of Ray Charles, Atlantic 1312, October 1959.
Single (A): Atlantic 2055, April 1960 b/w Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying.

Recorded on 6 May 1959 in New York.

Ray Charles – piano and vocals; Allen Hanlon – guitar; Wendell Marshall – bass; Ted Sommer – drums; Bob Brookmeyer – valve trombone; Harry Lookofsky – concertmaster; uncredited – woodwinds and strings; Ralph Burns – arranger (according to the liner notes, but in this interview Bob Brookmeyer claimed to have penned the chart).

Tokyo 1990

Montreux 1997:

Update 14.02.2021: 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


“I joined the Ray Charles orchestra in 1991. At that point it was Jim Rotondi’s job to play the solo flugel spot on ‘Just For a Thrill’. Every time they played it, I would let the magnificent sound of Jim’s flugelhorn wash over me, taking in his vast harmonic sophistication, perfect time and dense purity of tone. The interplay between Ray and Jim was nothing short of spectacular. It was beautiful every time.
In 1992 Jeff Kaye came back into the band, and I was treated to his unique interpretation. He and Ray had a special connection. Carl Hunter had bootleg tapes of Johnny Coles playing the solo, and I devoured every note.
After Jeff left, Ray called me into his dressing room, saying ‘Bring your flugelhorn’. He sat at the piano and said, ‘Hoffy, let’s play 103’. All the tunes in the book were referred to by number. Like all great accompanists, Ray made it easy to play, and I had a helluva lot of fun. After we finished Ray proceeded to give me some simple tips on how to approach the tune. We played it again. The difference was astounding. Ray did one of his patented chest slaps and said ‘That’s RIGHT’. And so it was. I treasure that private lesson with one of the worlds greatest musicians. And I never tired of playing this great tune with him.”

David Hoffman

“[…] RC called me in to speak to him about 103, too, but without my horn. He actually SANG the shit he wanted to hear. I’ve often wished small video recording devices like iPhones were around then.”

Jim Rotondi

’61 LC Paris – Released
’64 LC Comblain
’75 TV Cher
’87 LC Antibes
’87 TV TS
’89 LC Paris – 2x
’90 LC Dresden BB
’90 LC Italy
’90 LC Milan
’90 LC Rome
’90 LC Caneção
’90 LC Tokyo
’91 LC 50 Years
’95 LC Greenville
’95 LC Deauville
’95 LC Tramps – 2x
’96 LC London
’96 LC Maribor
’97 LC Montreux – Released
’99 LC NewOrleans NM
’99 LC Rheingau
’99 LC Glasgow
00 LC Basel
00 LC Paris – Released
01 LC Antibes
02 LC Pasadena
03 LC Melbourne
03 LC Whitehouse


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