Friday, September 30, 2022

 Tangerine Records Re-Releases Ray Sings, Basie Swings 

Streaming NOW For The First Time In Over 10 Years
Available on CD Now, Double-Vinyl LP Available for Pre-Order

Announces Upcoming Re-Release of Ray Charles’ 
Grammy Award Winning Album
Genius Loves Company for October 21st

September 23, 2022: Today, on what would be Ray Charles’ 92nd birthday, Tangerine Records has re-released the transformative mashup album Ray Sings, Basie Swings. Originally released in 2006, the uniquely inspired album mixes previously unreleased Ray Charles vocal performances from the seventies with newly recorded instrumental tracks by the contemporary Count Basie Orchestra. Available today at all DSPs for the first time in more than a decade, the album has been faithfully remastered and is being issued on CD & Double Vinyl. Pre-Order begins today.

Tangerine Records has also shared a new video for the signature track “Let The Good Times Roll.” 

In 2005, then Concord Records’ head John Burk (producer of Charles’ 2004 Grammy-winning Genius Loves Company) found a reel of tape simply labeled “Ray/Basie.”  “I was immediately excited as there were no prior recordings of Ray Charles with the Basie band,” says Burk. “...and I practically ran to put the tapes on the machine.” 

What John heard, though, wasn’t Basie and Ray playing together, but rather separate sets during concerts performed in Germany and England.

Still, an unknown live recording of Charles from the seventies was cause for excitement.  And while the recording of Ray’s band was obscured by a bad mix, Burk found that Charles’ vocal performances were exceptional. At first, it was thought that this potentially momentous discovery would be unusable.  Until Burk had the brilliant idea to bring the contemporary Count Basie Orchestra into the studio to lay newly recorded instrumental tracks behind Charles’ incredible vocal performances.

Ray Charles loved Count Basie and, in fact, used Basie’s arrangements as blueprints for his own arrangements.  According to Sid Feller, who probably wrote more Ray Charles big band orchestrations than anyone, Charles would “often point to Basie charts as templates. He wanted that thick harmony in the reeds. He wanted those clean horn punches. He wanted it simple like Basie, and he wanted it strong. Mostly, though, he wanted that Basie swing.” 

Charles was in top form on this mix of remakes of his early ABC-Paramount-era hits and then-recent material. The consecutive reworkings of "Busted," "Cryin' Time," and "I Can't Stop Loving You," three of his defining Top Ten hits of the early '60s, are given brassy, bluesy treatments here, and standards ranging from Oscar Hammerstein II’s "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" to The Beatles’ "The Long and Winding Road" are transformed in Charles’ hands. The set-closing "Georgia on My Mind," clearly a signature Charles song, is given is given and newer and equally compelling reading, and the track preceding it, "Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma," picked up from the folk-pop singer Melanie, is quite possibly the album's highlight.

Burk and his co-producers decided on a single goal: to make the date sound like a genuine heart-to-heart collaboration.  To create the impression that it was actually performed together, the editing process took four months.  The end result is a compelling and real collaboration, even if it didn’t happen in real time.  

Ray Sings, Basie Swings, two great artists together on one of the finest albums in Ray’s illustrious career. 

1. Oh, What A Beautiful Morning 
2. Let The Good Times
3. How Long Has This Been Going On?
4. Everly Saturday Night
5. Busted
6. Crying Time
7. I Can't Stop Loving You
8. Come Live With Me
9. Feel So Bad
10. The Long and Winding Road
11. Look What They're Done To My Song
12. Georgia On My Mind

Remastered Genius Loves Company To Be Re-Released October 21st

Today Tangerine Records has also announced the upcoming re-release of Ray’s remastered 2004 hit duets album Genius Loves Company, one of the most popular and the most commercially successful albums of Ray Charles’ illustrious career. Genius Loves Company reached #1 on the Billboard Top 200, selling over 200,000 copies in the US in its first week and quickly achieving Gold and then multi-Platinum status.  The album also won a record 8 Grammy Awards including Album of the Year and Record of the Year,  This iconic album will be available once more on CD and Vinyl on October 21st. Pre-Orders are now available HERE

Genius Loves Company garnered critical acclaim immediately upon its release. NPR All Things Considered hailed, “It’s got flashes of fire you wouldn’t expect from such a setting, gems of phrasing that remind you how Ray Charles transformed the wreckage of heartbreak into poignant sound,” and Rolling Stone added, “the tone is reverential and warm, as the Genius sings…” 
This turned out to be the final album Ray Charles ever recorded and came to be when producer John Burk, then chief creative officer of Concord Records, approached Charles with the idea of making a duet record.  Together, Charles and Burk and co-producer Phil Ramone curated a list of artists and matched them with specific songs.  The record features collaborations with some of the biggest names in music like Norah Jones, Elton John, James Taylor, BB King, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt and more, all performing with Charles.
Burk recalls, “Working with Ray Charles in making this album was a dream come true, especially when it became the most successful album of an incredible career.  All of us at Exceleration are extremely happy and excited to make this seminal album available once again, this time on Ray’s own label, Tangerine Records.”
The album’s 8 Grammy Awards include; Album Of The Year, Best Pop Vocal Album, Record Of The Year, Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for “Here We Go Again” with Norah Jones, and Best Gospel Performance for “Heaven Help Us” with Gladys Knight.

1. Here We Go Again (with Norah Jones)
2. Sweet Potato Pie (with James Taylor)
3. You Don’t Know Me (with Diana Krall)
4. Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word (with Elton John)
5. Fever (with Natalie Cole)
6. Do I Ever Cross Your Mind (with Bonnie Raitt)
7. It Was A Very Good Year (with Willie Nelson)
8. Hey Girl (with Michael McDonald)
9. Sinner’s Prayer (with B.B. King)
10. Heaven Help Us All (with Gladys Knight)
11. Over The Rainbow (with Johnny Mathis)
12. Crazy Love (with Van Morrison)

About Ray Charles: One of the greatest artists of all time, Charles successfully mastered and forever changed the blues, jazz, gospel, rock, pop, and country music landscapes. Charles’ staggering achievements over a 58-year career include 17 GRAMMY Awards, induction into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Country Music Hall of Fame, a Lifetime Achievement and the President’s Merit Award, the Presidential Medal for the Arts, France’s Legion of Honor, the Kennedy Center Honors, the NAACP Image Awards’ “Hall of Fame Award,” and numerous other music Halls of Fame, including those for Jazz and Rhythm & Blues, all testament to his enormous influence.

Missing Piece Group

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