Written by
Bob Stumpel

October 4

Mister Ray Charles Live In Nancy (1984)

'84 LC NancyConcert 1984 Nancy

About one and a half year ago I found a copy of a newscast from a regional French TV station promoting the Festival De Jazz De Nancy 84 (a.k.a. Nancy Jazz Pulsations) that took place that same day, October 18, 1984. It showed archive materials from some of the stars, including a – hardly relevant – edit of Ray’s old 3/4 Times videoclip. A year ago a video with Some Enchanted Evening, performed at this same Nancy concert, popped up on Daily Motion:

More recently, a copy of Georgia On My Mind surfaced:
   [The clip was removed]

Come Rain Or Come Shine:

Photo by Stéphane Gamelin.

A 1-hour (57m23s) broadcast, titled TF1 Présente Mister Ray Charles has survived. The TV program did not follow the order of the original setlists.  E.g. #6 and 7 often were the concert opening combination, and would never be planned this late in the setlist. Reader Hector Tarín pointed me at the fact that the footage actually comes from two concerts – one where The Genius was wearing a gray suite (#2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15), and one where he wore a black suit (#6, 8, 11). 
Tune #9 got an unusually brief and slobby treatment. As if The Genius didn’t like what he heard himself do with it, he morphed it into a splendid version of She Knows. In the performance of Come Rain Or Come Shine Ray and his orchestra let every single note shine.

  1. Ray Minor Ray (Ray Charles Orchestra; trombone solo – Dan Marcus)  
  2. Intro
  3. Feel So Bad (guitar solo – Dennis Nelson)
  4. Oh, What A Beautiful Morning
  5. Come Rain Or Come Shine (trombone solo – John Boice; tenor solo – Rudy Johnson) 
  6. Busted
  7. Georgia On My Mind
  8. Some Enchanted Evening
  9. If You Wouldn’t Be My Lady
  10. She Knows
  11. For Mamma
  12. Intro Raelettes
  13. I Can’t Stop Loving You
  14. What’d I Say
  15. Outro

Musicians: Brian Mitchell, Clifford Solomon (band leader), Ricky Woodard, Rudy Johnson, Louis Van Taylor – saxophone; Robbie Kwock, Mark Curry, Jim Seeley, Jeff Kaye – trumpet; John Boice, Dan Marcus, Dan Weinstein, Dana Hughes – trombone; Bobby Floyd – organ; Dennis Nelson – guitar; Roger Hines – bass; Ricky Kirkland – drums. The Raelettes: Trudy Cohran, Anne Johnson, Janice Mitchell, Elaine Woodard, Estella Yarbrough.

In the first clip mentioned above, Ray was credited for having “inaugurated” the first Nancy Jazz Festival, on October 10, 1973. What remains is a few seconds of the concert’s intro and a fun interview with The Genius.

The INA radio archive holds a recording of a 1h23m radio program dedicated to the Nancy Jazz Pulsation (ID 589021; DL R 19940129 FCR). It was produced by Radio France, categorized as a documentarty, and aired on 29 January 1994 in their France Culture series. This description regretfully does not specify the precise contents, but Ray Charles (and then possibly his 1984 performance) was part of it.

I also found a source mentioning a 20 minute TV compilation of the festival, with Michel Petrucciani, Ray Charles, and The Antoine Hervé Big Band.


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