Ray Charles – The Atlantic Studio Albums In Mono (2016) (Remastered) [HDTracks FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Ray Charles – The Atlantic Studio Albums In Mono (2016) (Remastered)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 42:59 minutes | 2,72 GB | Genre: R&B, Soul, Blues
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © Rhino Atlantic

A music legend like no other, Ray Charles earned the nickname “Genius” for recording countless jazz, country, R&B and pop masterpieces during a career that spanned seven decades. This Box Set features mono mixes for the seven outstanding solo studio albums he recorded for Atlantic Records. For this new collection, the following albums have been fully remastered from the original mono analog tapes, echoing the experience of the era, when most fans were hearing music on record players, jukeboxes and radios that played music monaurally: Ray Charles (1957), The Great Ray Charles (1957), Yes, Indeed! (1958), What’d I Say (1959), The Genius Of Ray Charles (1959), The Genius After Hours (1961), and The Genius Sings The Blues (1961).

Ray Charles – The Great Ray Charles (1957/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 37:24 minutes | 383 MB
Studio Mono Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

This set is rather unusual, for it is strictly instrumental, allowing Ray Charles a rare opportunity to be a jazz-oriented pianist. Two selections are with a trio (bassist Oscar Pettiford joins Charles on “Black Coffee”), while the other six are with a septet taken from his big band of the period. Key among the sidemen are David Newman (soloing on both tenor and alto) and trumpeter Joseph Bridgewater; highlights include Quincy Jones’ “The Ray,” “My Melancholy Baby,” “Doodlin’,” and “Undecided.” Ray Charles should have recorded in this setting more often in his later years.

01 – The Ray
02 – My Melancholy Baby
03 – Black Coffee
04 – There’s No You
05 – Doodlin’
06 – Sweet Sixteen Bars
07 – I Surrender Dear
08 – Undecided

Ray Charles – Ray Charles (1957/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 41:47 minutes | 475 MB
Studio Mono Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

One of the first handful of LPs issued by Atlantic, Ray Charles (later retitled Hallelujah I Love Her So) is a bona fide classic of its genre. Weighted about three to one in favor of Charles’ own compositions, its raison d’etre was the hits “Hallelujah I Love Her So” and the pounding, soaring “Ain’t That Love,” which opens the LP. As with other Atlantic albums of the period, its content was determined more by Charles’ recent singles than by a real plan for the LP, but even within those limitations it’s an amazingly subtle record. Charles does just as well with his interpretations of others’ work, most notably the ominous, gospel-focused rendition of “Sinner’s Prayer” (which offers a virtuoso piano performance, and comes courtesy of the pen of Charles’ former mentor Lowell Fulson) and Henry Glover’s wrenching ballad “Drown in My Own Tears,” which is topped out on each verse by a gorgeous chorus. “Funny (But I Still Love You)” offers a guitar break played in such an understated fashion that it almost doesn’t seem so much a part of R&B as it was usually being offered in 1957 as it does a part of Charles’ early career output. The second side of the LP is even better, opening with the title track, a number that is almost too ubiquitous in its various cover versions – the original has a mix of urgency and playfulness that’s absolutely bracing, and the album carries this mood forward with “Mess Around,” an Ahmet Ertegun-authored piano- and sax-driven romp with Charles at his most ebullient as a singer. “This Little Girl of Mine” offers him in a surprisingly light, almost acrobatic vocal mode, while “Greenbacks” is a knowing, clever cautionary narrative that is almost a throwback to 1940s-style R&B. “Don’t You Know” is as salacious a piece of R&B as one was likely to hear in 1957, and “I Got a Woman” closes the record out on a pounding, driving note.

01 – Ain’t That Love
02 – Drown In My Own Tears
03 – Come Back Baby
04 – Sinner’s Prayer
05 – Funny But I Still Love You
06 – Losing Hand
07 – A Fool For You
08 – Hallelujah I Love Her So
09 – Mess Around
10 – This Little Girl Of Mine
11 – Mary Ann
12 – Greenbacks
13 – Don’t You Know
14 – I Got A Woman

Ray Charles – Yes, Indeed! (1958/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 35:56 minutes | 396 MB
Studio Mono Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

Yes Indeed! was third Ray Charles’ (in fact the fifth) album to be released in sixteen months, and his second of October 1958. After Ray Charles, he released two instrumental jazz albums (The Great Ray Charles and, with Milt Jackson, Soul Brothers) and the live At Newport album. The juxtaposition of these releases showed what a wide range of talents and interests Ray had. Yes Indeed!, being a compilation of singles, shows his more popular, R&B hitmaking side.

01 – What Would I Do Without You
02 – It’s All Right
03 – I Want To Know
04 – Yes, Indeed!
05 – Get On The Right Track Baby
06 – Talkin’ Bout You
07 – Swanee River Rock (Talkin’ ‘Bout That River)
08 – Lonely Avenue
09 – Blackjack
10 – The Sun’s Gonna Shine Again
11 – I Had A Dream
12 – I Want A Little Girl
13 – Heartbreaker
14 – Leave My Woman Alone

Ray Charles – The Genius Of Ray Charles (1959/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 38:27 minutes | 383 MB
Studio Mono Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

Some players from Ray Charles’ big band are joined by many ringers from the Count Basie and Duke Ellington bands for the first half of this program, featuring Charles belting out six songs arranged by Quincy Jones. “Let the Good Times Roll” and “Deed I Do” are highlights, and there are solos by tenorman David “Fathead” Newman, trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, and (on “Two Years of Torture”) tenor Paul Gonsalves. The remaining six numbers are ballads, with Charles backed by a string orchestra arranged by Ralph Burns (including “Come Rain or Come Shine” and “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Cryin’”). Charles’ voice is heard throughout in peak form, giving soul to even the veteran standards.

01 – Let The Good Times Roll
02 – It Had To Be You
03 – Alexander’s Ragtime Band
04 – Two Years Of Torture
05 – When Your Lover Has Gone
06 – Deed I Do
07 – Just For A Thrill
08 – You Won’t Let Me Go
09 – Tell Me You’ll Wait For Me
10 – Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Cryin’
11 – Am I Blue
12 – Come Rain Or Come Shine

NOTE: Tracks “8 & 9” presented in 24bit/44kHz.

Ray Charles – What’d I Say (1959/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 30:13 minutes | 345 MB
Studio Mono Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

Ray Charles was the premier architect singer/songwriter/musician whose “genius” of combining jazz, blues with gospel most certainly began the American soul music movement. This modern form of R&B which would become an American way of life forever etched itself in total with the release of his 1959 classic hit single and album What’d I Say. Fused with heavy blues, gospel and rock & roll, What’d I Say was one of Ray’s very first top ten hits after a very long run of predominantly R&B only chart successes. The tune itself has been covered hundreds of times by some of the most important voices in popular music, like The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Van Morrison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and many others. Also included on this masterpiece are some of Ray Charles more refined blues rockers like the powerful instrumental Rockhouse, the rockin’ You Be My Baby, the shouter Tell Me How Do You Feel, and the brilliant pre-soul sounds of What Kind Of Man Are You which features the Raylettes’ Mary Ann Fisher. The What’d I Say album forever etched the name superstar and genius with Ray Charles as the album reached the upper rungs of the popular, jazz and R&B charts and has become an American institution which will forever stand the test of time.

01 – What’d I Say (Part I & II)
02 – Jumpin’ In The Mornin’
03 – You Be My Baby
04 – Tell Me How Do You Feel
05 – What Kind of Man Are You?
06 – Rockhouse (Parts I & II)
07 – Roll With My Baby
08 – Tell All The World About You
09 – My Bonnie
10 – That’s Enough

Ray Charles – The Genius After Hours (1961/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 38:43 minutes | 423 MB
Studio Mono Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

Taken from the same three sessions as The Great Ray Charles but not duplicating any of the performances, this set casts Charles as a jazz-oriented pianist in an instrumental setting. Brother Charles has five numbers with a trio (three songs have Oscar Pettiford on bass) and jams on three other tunes (“Hornful Soul,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” and “Joy Ride”) with a septet arranged by Quincy Jones; solo space is given to David “Fathead” Newman on tenor and alto and trumpeter Joseph Bridgewater. Fine music – definitely a change of pace for Ray Charles.

01 – The Genius After Hours
02 – Ain’t Misbehavin’
03 – Dawn Ray
04 – Joy Ride
05 – Hornful Soul
06 – The Man I Love
07 – Charlesville
08 – Music, Music, Music

Ray Charles – The Genius Sings The Blues (1961/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 34:31 minutes | 383 MB
Studio Mono Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

Down-home, anguished laments and moody ballads were turned into triumphs by Ray Charles. He sang these songs with the same conviction, passion, and energy that made his country and soul vocals so majestic. This has not turned up in the reissue bins.

01 – Early In The Mornin’
02 – Hard Times (No One Knows Better Than I)
03 – The Midnight Hour
04 – The Right Time
05 – Feelin’ Sad
06 – Ray’s Blues
07 – I’m Movin’ On
08 – I Believe To My Soul
09 – Nobody Cares
10 – Mr. Charles Blues
11 – Some Day Baby
12 – I Wonder Who



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