Written by
Bob Stumpel

November 4

The Montreux 1997 Bonus: 3 Ray Charles Orchestra Pieces

'97 LC MontreuxWith Ray Charles Band

The concert in Montreux on July 19th, 1997 is one of the best documented shows of the Ray Charles group. The concert was videotaped with 7 or 8 cameras, the sound recording had studio quality, and the show’s director didn’t miss a beat, editing an entirely relevant final montage of luscious close-ups and wider shots.
All music footage seems to have survived, including all four instrumentals that were played by the Ray Charles Orchestra that night.* (Only circulating among fans, there’s even a few minutes of documentary video of the stage preparations).
The Blu-ray editionof the concert (Eagle Rock, 2008) has a unique interview with Ray, where he comments on all tracks that were part of the basic edition. As a second bonus this rare DVD also presents three more  instrumentals by the Ray Charles Orchestra:

1. Just Friends (solos by Steve Elliott, Ken Scharf)
2. Beatrice (solos by Wayne Coniglio, David Hoffman)
3. Pas-Se-O-Ne Blues (solos by Rudy Johnson, David Hoffman, Ken Scharf)

#1, Just Friends arranged by Bob Florence.
#2, Beatrice arranged by Wayne Coniglio).
# 3, Pas-Se-O-Ne Blues, was first taped for the album My Kind Of Jazz (1970), but this remains the only known live recording. The beautiful solo by Rudy Johnson on Pas-Se-O-Ne is essential jazz history. Johnson played with the band for a quarter of a century, but precious few of his solos have been captured on video.

Ted Murdock, Roger Ingram, David Hoffman, Ken Scharf – trumpets; Mike Guerrier, Steve Sigmund, Clay Lawrey, Wayne Coniglio – trombones; Al Waters, Al Jackson, Steve Elliott, Rudy Johnson, James Farnsworth – saxophones; Kenny Carr – guitar; Tom Fowler – bass; Ernest Vantrease – keyboards; Peter Turre – drums.

*The 4th instrumental was David Hoffman’s Forty Pound Limit, which was part of the basic DVD release; see this


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