Ray Charles – The Best Of His Jazz Piano Performances

More of the Music of Ray Charles

Yet Another Record We’ve Discovered with (Potentially) Excellent Sound

  • An excellent sounding copy with solid Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
  • This compilation gives you a taste of Ray’s great instrumental tracks, all in surprisingly good sound

Like any compilation the sound varies from track to track, but most of the material here sounds WONDERFUL!

You may have noticed that Tom Dowd, the recording engineer for these tracks, receives a fair amount of criticism on our site. We’re not always fans of his work on rock albums, but on jazz music he usually managed to do a great job. The sound is open, sweet, transparent, rich — all the stuff we like here at Better Records.

Just drop the needle on the first track, Hard Times. The brass is breathy and full-bodied, the piano has real weight, and the vocals sound Right On The Money. The extended solos by David Newman on tenor sax are especially brilliant. 

If you want a good Blues based Jazz record, performed by men who were at the height of their powers, you can’t go wrong with this one.

All of these recordings are from the late 50s, including a live performance from the Newport Jazz Festival.

Side One

Hard Times (No One Knows Better Than I) 
Rock House, Pts. 1-2 
Sweet Sixteen Bars 

Side Two

How Long Blues
Blues Waltz