The best slow sax ...
Will Flannery | Berkeley, CA | 06/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The best slow sax tune ever recorded, in my opinion, is residing right on this CD. Unfortunately, at the time of this review, Amazon has not sampled it for your online listening pleasure, but, maybe by the time you read this, they will have. The tune - "Ain't Misbehavin", the sax man - Ray's regular sax man at the time of this recording, David "Fathead" Newman. It's a great tune to begin with, but Fathead doesn't play it straight. He throws down one incredibly perfect phrase after another, taking the tune and twisting it just a little, pulling the listener into his own unique harmonic space, and it is as pleasurable a place as you'll ever find yourself. This is a unique tune, and, of course, Fathead never plays cliches, and the result is incomparable to any other performance I know. It is completely relaxed, but full of fascination and energy. Is it really the best slow sax tune every recorded? Well, that's a subjective call; for me, it is, and in any case it is an extraordinary performance. Newman must have thought so too, because he reprised it thirty(?) years later on the CD "Head's Up". But he didn't have Ray behind him on piano on that gig, and there is no way he could have improved on the original."
paris | Chicago | 09/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Half of this album, originally called "The Genius After Hours," was the first LP I ever owned when I was a little boy. When my mom bought it for me from a peddler who came in her beauty shop, I got excited because I had a Ray Charles record. Reading the liner notes, I noticed it didn't mention any vocals, and when I put the record on I felt a little let down because there were no vocals, like "What'D I Say," which was the hit record of the day. Anyway, I listened to it and dug it. This is very moody, swinging jazz, beboppish and slick. I particularly love "Ain't Misbehavin, I Surrender Dear, Joy Ride. Ray, as a vocalist was a master, but it was his piano playing that really held all that music together."