Footage from a one-hour-and-45-minute live performance by Ray Charles at the 1961 Antibes Jazz Festival has recently been discovered and will be released on DVD Oct. 24 by Eagle Rock Entertainment and Reelin’ In The Years Productions. Ray Charles-Live in France 1961 features Charles in his prime period with the original Raeletts and his most legendary band (including David “Fathead” Newman and Hank Crawford). These concerts, Charles’ first-ever performances in Europe, are being issued with the full cooperation of the Ray Charles Estate. The concerts have been newly transferred from the original 16mm films and have been digitally restored and remastered.
The DVD features 25 songs, including “What’d I Say,” “Georgia On My Mind,” “Hallelujah, I Love Her So” and “I Believe To My Soul.” Also included are “Doodlin’,” “One Mint Julep” and “Hornful Soul,” showcasing Charles’ jazz chops, as well as the country-tinged Nat King Cole composition “With You On My Mind,” a song Ray never recorded. Also included is a 25-minute bonus section that features six additional performances from the festival.
Ray Charles-Live In France 1961 will make its Hollywood (and worldwide) premiere at a special screening presented by the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles on October 20th. The film’s producers and other notables are expected to be on hand at the event for which tickets are available to the public. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion, moderated by biographer David Ritz, that will include director David Peck, one of the film’s producers, Tom Gulotta, Ray Charles catalog authority James Austin and Rob Bowman, Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at Toronto’s York University, whose liner notes are part of the Ray Charles-Live in France 1961 package.
To view a trailer of the DVD, click here.