Written by
Bob Stumpel

January 22

Ray Charles Live In Antibes (1990)

'90 LC AntibesConcert 1990 AntibesWith Dee Dee Bridgewater

The taping of Ray Charles’ concert in Antibes on 19 July 1990 at the 30th edition of Jazz à Juan was directed – as always – by Jean-Christophe Averty. The footage of the concert was re-edited into three 30-minute programs, titled Special Ray Charles (#1, #2, #3) which were broadcast by France 2.

The choice for Special Ray Charles #1 (first aired on 21 August 1990) was:

  1. Then We’ll Be Home (Sadies Tune)
  2. Busted
  3. Georgia On My Mind
  4. Mississippi Mud
  5. The Brightest Smile In Town
  6. Feel So Bad

The tunes chosen for Special Ray Charles #2 (first aired on 28 December 1990) had a focus on The Raelettes, but started with a splendid Orchestra piece:

  1. Metamorphosis (Ray Charles Orchestra) (solos by Al Jackson, Jeff Kaye, Ernest Vantrease)
  2. Intro RC
  3. Chain Of Fools (The Raelettes)
  4. Giving Up* (ft Trudy Cohran)
  5. Smack Dab In The Middle
  6. I Can’t Stop Loving You
  7. I Can See Clearly Now 

* Based onDonny Hathaway’s minor hitfrom 1972.It’s a beautiful, soaring  7-minute love lament sung by Trudy Cohran, which seems to have been improvised on the spot (Ray moaning directions between Trudy’s lines), but it was performed several times by Cohran (later also by Tonette McKinney). The TV program’s editors gave it the titleSpiritual Solo.

The concert was interrupted to let the mayor award Ray with a Légion d’honneur. This scene was
left out of the broadcast (but you can see Ray suddenly with
a medal around his neck).

Ina archive, also describes the contents of Special Ray Charles #3, first broadcast on 8 January 1991, by France 2.

  • The matrix tape (INA ID CPB90014937) has a run time of 29m16s. The record specifies that it entailed two instrumentals by the Ray Charles Orchestra, plus four tunes performed by Ray Charles, one of which was a duet with Dee Dee Bridgewater (no doubt this was Precious Thing). The description of INA tape #  I00005172 seems to imply that The Raelettes supported the duet with backing vocals. 
  • Another tape (INA ID I00005170), with a run time of 4m26s, gives the title of one of the three other tunes: “Sadie (without Raelettes)”, surely referring to Then We’ll Be Home (Sadies Tune). This song was also part of the first Special.
  • The description of a third tape (INA ID I00005173), with a run time of 5m24s, specifies the name of yet another tune, performed by Ray and the girls: “Gonna coils one you” – which, unfortunately, is a phantasy title.
  • The description of the last tape (INA ID CPB90014937) names What’d I Say, with a duration of 3m12s, as the fourth song. “Then Ray Charles greets the public with the orchestra playing”.

* J.P. Verger pointed me at this (cf. comments).

Update: Today I watched an excellent copy of the Special Ray Charles #3, with the following tunes:

  1. The Shadow Of Your Smile (The Ray Charles Orchestra) (solo by Craig Bailey – ts)

  2. Beatrice (The Ray Charles Orchestra) (solos by Wayne Coniglio – tb, Ken Rampton – tp)

  3. Intro RC

  4. Then We’ll Be Home (Sadies Tune)

  5. Precious Thing (with Dee Dee Bridgewater)

  6. Lay Around And Love On You (All I Wanna Do Is –) (solos by Kenny Carr – g, Ray Charles – ep)

  7. What’d I Say

So far, The Shadow Of Your Smile (#1) was only known from a recording at the Salle Pleyel concert in 1969. Dee Dee Bridgewater’s guest appearance was a little triumph; Precious Thing (#5) got a very inspired rendition.

Musicians: Chuck Parrish, Jeff Kaye, Jeff Helgesen, Kenny Rampton – trumpets; Steve Sigmund, Mike  Guerrier, Marc Fields, Wayne Coniglio – trombones; Al Waters, Rudy Johnson, Al Jackson, Craig Baily, Scott Frillman – saxophones; David Rokeach – drums; Kenny Carr – guitar; Benoît Grey – bass; Ernest Vantrease – organ. The Raelettes: Trudy Cohran, Kay Nickerson, Lalomie Washburn, Angie Workman, Estella Yarbrough.

’90 LC Antibes – Busted:

’90 LC Antibes – Georgia On My Mind:


Anonymous — 2012-01-09 00:30:06

Bob, Dans le Special Ray Charles N°3,diffuse sur France 2(TV française) le 8 janvier 1981,on note; - 2 morceaux interpretes par le "Ray Charles orchestra" - l'entre de Ray Charles - 4 morceaux chante par R C dont 1 avec Dee Dee Bridgewater. Je ne connais pas les morceaux,mais on peut supposer que celui interprete avec Dee DEE etait "Precious Thing". JPV

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