Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"Ray Sings, Basie Swings", A Review

If you like Ray Charles and the Count Basie sound, I guarantee you will love "Ray Sings, Basie Swings". This outstanding CD was produced by John Burk in 2005.  There is an interesting story behind the CD. John Burk produced what I believe was the last CD Ray Charles recorded before his death, "Genius Loves Company". It was outstanding and won a well deserved Grammy. From what I have read, some time after Ray's death Mr. Burk came across a tape simply labeled, "Ray/Basie".  It was then discovered that the tape contained Ray Charles vocals with his own band.  John Burk then came up with the great idea of combinding some new arrangements for the  current Count Basie Band with Ray's voice tracks.  The results are golden and produced some sounds I think are truly outstanding.  In particular, I think the arrangement of the Beetles' song, "Long and Winding Road" is the best version of this song I have ever heard.  The Basie arrangements behind Ray's voice never gets old for me.  There are two other gems, "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" that Ray had recorded before, but I think this version is worth hearing again.  I also really liked, "Look What They've Done To My Song".  You probably already have some of these songs on this CD from other Ray Charles recordings but in my opinion, you will enjoy them even more on this CD.
By the way, I checked this CD out on iTunes and you can get it now for $6.99.  This is a great buy for 12 songs, that's only .59 per song.  Just hit the iTunes button on this blog and check out the songs I have recommended.  Then let me know what you think. Amen!


  1. Bob,
    We were "at your table" at the Carlyle Tues. night. Based on your review of this ablbum, I just bought it from I-Tunes.
    Enjoyed the evening at your table. John and Jessica were fantastic. We have made their gig there an annual event for us. So far, three years in a row. We think this one was their best. The NY Times reviewer agreed. The Carlyle web site has a link to the review.
    Roger and Sharon

  2. Hi Roger and Sharon: We thought John and Jessica were fantastic also. It was great sharing the experience (And dinner) with you. I am working on my review also. I heard that the NY Times review was excellent and I will check it out. So glad you bought the Ray Charles CD, I just know you will love it. Please give me some feedback after you get a chance to listen to it. Hope we get the chance to have dinner again next year! Regards, Bob


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