Six Instrumentals From The Mexico Concert (1975)
On 6 and 7 December 1975 the Ray Charles group played a series of concerts in Mexico City. I wrote earlier about a ‘board mix’ version of Cherry, but it turns out that all of the instrumentals that were performed by the Ray Charles Orchestra have also survived, coming from the same tape recording. The sound quality isn’t great, but the jazz is marvelous.
- Sister Sadie (Johnny Coles and Leroy Cooper played the head; Leroy Cooper – solo bs)
Samba De Elencia (Andy Ennis – solo ts; Ken Tussing – solo tb; Clifford Solomon – fill on last chord)
Unidentified instrumental (Johnny Coles and Clifford Solomon played the head; Johnny Coles – solo plunger trumpet; Clifford Solomon – solo as; Ernie Vantrease, solo p)
Morning Of Carnival (Dave Boyle – solo bass tb; Johnny Coles, solo flugel)
Spain (Jack Evans – opening flugel, solo tp; Ed Pratt, solo as)
Blowing The Blues Away (Jack Evans [or Waymon Reed?*] – solo tp; Leroy Cooper – solo bs; James Clay, Andy Ennis – solos ts; Bob Coassin – solo screech tp)
* Jack Evans, who also contributed the other notes to the tunes, as mentioned above, remembers that Reed “[…] joined the band for a very short time when we returned from the 1975 Australia/Japan tour. […] We had met Waymon earlier in the year in NY, and he expressed a strong interest to play with RC if the opportunity came up.”
#3 was a funky & funny tune yet to be identified; Coles’ solo on plunger trumpet is a rare feat. #4 (Morning Of Carnival a.k.a. Manhã De Carnaval and Black Orpheus) is the only known live version of this tune by the Ray Charles band; it was first released on the Jazz II album (1973); it’s also the only known taping of a solo by Dave Boyle as a band member.
#3 Unidentified instrumental: