Ray Charles: Live in France 1961 (DVD)

Watching this 16 mm footage—lost for 50 years—in its black-and-white glory is a revelation. The goosebumps begin the second Charles and his band (featuring David "Fathead" Newman on sax) fire up the head-boppin' riffs and rhythms. The eight-piece band nails "One Mint Julep" (though without music stands—they have to use chairs to prop up their sheet music). It's sassier and brassier than the studio instrumental—and a testament to Brother Ray's prowess as a live performer and bandleader.

Louis R. Carlozo

Louis R. Carlozo is a music producer in Chicago.

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