Written by
Bob Stumpel

May 1

Ray Charles Live In Osaka (1989)

'89 LC OsakaConcert 1989 Osaka

Cover of the Japan 1989 tour brochure.

At a concert in Osaka, on December 27, 1989 a board mix was recorded*. The setlist was:

  1. Woody ‘n’ Bu (Jeff Helgesen – tp; Rudy Johnson – ts; Ernest Vantrease – p)

  2. Samba De Elencia

  3. Easy Living (Jeff Helgesen – fl, Scott Frillman – bs; Ted Murdock – tp)

  4. Ray Minor Ray (Mike Karn, Rudy Johnson – ts; Jeff Kaye, Jeff Helgesen – tp)

  5. Intro RC

  6. Riding Thumb

  7. Busted

  8. Georgia On My Mind

  9. Mississippi Mud

  10. How Long Has This Been Going On

  11. Stranger In My Own Home Town (Kenny Carr – g)

  12. Yours

  13. Intro Raelettes

  14. Love Is What We Need

  15. All I Need (ft Trudy Cohran)

  16. Don’t Change On Me

  17. I Can’t Stop Loving You

  18. I Can See Clearly Now

  19. Baby It’s Cold Outside

  20. Lay Around And Love On You (All I Wanna Do Is –)

  21. What’d I Say

  22. Fast send-off/outro

  23. Ellie, My Love

  24. Outro (I Can’t Stop Loving You-theme)

The documentary value is mainly in the taping of the instrumentals – all got excellent, inspired treatments from the Orchestra. Woody ‘n’ Bu (#1) so far was only known from one of the concerts at the 1984 Warsaw Jazz Jamboree, and from the 1988 Oklahoma concert. Samba De Elencia (#2) was recorded on My Kind Of Jazz Part III, but I know of only one recorded live version (the Madrid concert, also from 1975). I knew Easy Living (#3) only from the 1992 Antibes concert. Ray Minor Ray was first released on My Kind Of Jazz Part III, and is e.g. also known from concert versions in 1961 (Paris) and 1979 (Antibes). Another special treat was All You Need (#15), in a great rendition by Trudy Cohran.

The line-up was probably pretty similar to the one that was documented for the concert in Bari, on December 8 (but there may have been “a sub or two”, as Jeff Helgesen states).
Musicians: Chuck Parrish, Jeff Helgesen (fl), Ted Murdock, Jeff Kaye – trumpets; Steve Sigmund, Mike Guerrier, Marc Fields, Wayne Coniglio – tombones; Craig Baily, Al Jackson – alto saxophones; Mike Karn, Rudy Johnson – tenor saxophones; Scott Frillman – baritone saxophone; Ernest Vantrease – piano, keyboards; Kenny Carr – guitar; Darren Solomon – bass; Jeff Ballard – drums. The Raelettes: Anita Brooks,  Trudy Cohran, Kathryn Collier, Angie Workman, Estella Yarbrough.

* Special thanks to Jeff Helgesen for sharing & for attributing the solos.


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