Heaven and earth battle it out in the music of Ray Charles, who combined gospel with the best of secular music and helped give birth to soul, rock, and hard bop. His early work showed the silky influences of the Nat "King" Cole trio and the piano blues great Charles Brown. Charles combined their sophisticated styles with R&B and gritty gospel to create his signature sound: hard, snappy piano combined with exquisite vocals that fall somewhere between a preacher gone bad and a yearning romantic balladeer. Charles absorbed styles like a sponge: big band jazz, country and pop were all added to his musical arsenal, and he built up a musical empire that kept him in the public eye for decades up until his untimely death, at the age of 73, in June 2004. Just prior to his passing, Charles cut his first duets record with such fans as Norah Jones, Willie Nelson, and Elton John, which illustrates a multi-generational sampling of the artists who list him as a prime influence. An American institution, Ray Charles' rendition of "Georgia on My Mind" has even become that state's anthem. If only the other 49 states could be as fortunate.
Ray Charles Concert Films
Live At Montreux
Runtime: 1 hr 12 minRay Charles was one of the true pioneers of soul music. Born in Georgia in 1930 he was one of the first performers to mix gospel, R & B and jazz to create a new form of black pop music that would come to be known as soul. His voice and delivery were strikingly different and instantly recognizable. He had his first hits in the early 50’s and was still hitting the charts into the 21st century. His death in June 2004 from liver disease was front-page news around the world. This concert was filmed at the Montreux Jazz Festival
on July 19, 1997 and features Ray Charles and his orchestra, led by sax player Al Jackson, and of course The Raelettes. The set includes many of his most popular tracks such as Shadows Of My Mind, Georgia On My Mind, and the No.1 hit I Can’t Stop Loving You.
Live in France 1961: Antibes Jazz Festival
Runtime: 1 hr 28 minBy 1961 Ray Charles had established himself at the forefront of popular music. He had several R&B hit singles on Atlantic Records in the fifties and crossed over into the mainstream with his hit “What’d I Say” in 1959. He then moved from Atlantic Records to ABC and had further success throughout the sixties. The concert was filmed at the Antibes Jazz Festival in July of 1961 when Ray Charles was at the peak of his powers.
Ray Charles Top Tracks
Legends in Concert
Runtime: 42 minSelling over 100 million records worldwide over 6 decades, with hits such as "hey good looking" and "papa loves mambo" both performed here in front of the cameras and presented on this fabulous dvd compilation
Legends in Concert
Runtime: 59 minFor more than forty years the temptations have been wooing audiences around the globe and selling millions of records in the process
A collection of 16 classic songs by the soul band that has been going strong for over forty years. Includes hits such as 'My Girl', 'The Way You Do The Things You Do' and 'Papa Was a Rolling Stone'.
Runtime: 1 hr 16 minStill Bill is an intimate portrait of soul legend Bill Withers, best known for his classics "Ain't No Sunshine," "Lean On Me," "Lovely Day," "Grandma's Hands," and "Just the Two of Us." With his soulful delivery and warm, heartfelt sincerity, Withers has written the songs that continue to resonate deeply within the fabric of our times. Filmmakers Damani Baker and Alex Vlack follow Withers and offer a unique and rare look inside the world of this fascinating man. Through concert footage, journeys to his birthplace and interviews with music and sports legends, his family and closest friends, STILL BILL presents the story of an artist who has written some of the most beloved songs of our time and who truly understands the heart and soul of a man.
Miles Electric: A Different Kind of Blue
Runtime: 1 hr 27 minWhen he released "Bitches Brew" in 1970, Miles Davis opened up a new angle to jazz which stirred up emotions like no other record before. Some critics accused Davis of selling out, while the public bought it like crazy. It is one of the most examined albums of all time, even garnering a box set of the sessions. To date, "Bitches Brew" is one of the top selling jazz albums of all time. "Miles Electric: A Different Kind of Blue" examines the next step in the creative process...performing these songs live. The 1970 Isle of Wight featured an array of performers from The Who to Jethro Tull to Joni Mitchell. With improvisation playing a big role in the performance, the band (Jack DeJohnette, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Gary Bartz and Dave Holland) had to be "on", yet ready to change on the fly. Directed by award-winning producer Murray Lerner, "Miles Electric" sits down with several of the performers who played with Miles, interspersed with his 1970 Isle of Wight performance, as well as artists such as Carlos Santana and Joni Mitchell, who describe the impact Miles Davis had towards music.
Adventures in the Kingdom of Swing
Runtime: 1 hr 2 minThis biography of musical legend Benny Goodman contains testimonials from various contemporaries and scholars, and offers several clips of the man in performance. Nearly two-dozen songs can be heard including "California, Here I Come," "A Fine Romance," "Why Don't You Do Right," "I've Got a Heart Full of Music," and "Bugle Cal Rag."
Legends in Concert
Runtime: 43 minJazz Legends - Duke Ellington and His Orchestra (1929-1943) by Duke Ellington, includes a series of short films made in Hollywood featuring Ellington performing his biggest hits: Black And Tan (1929) directed by Dudley Murphy; Check and Double Check (1930) directed by Melville Brown; Symphony in Black (1934) directed by Fred Waller; Paramount Pictoral No.889 (1937); The Hit Parade of 1937; and RKO Jamboree No.7 (1943) directed by Jay Bonafield. .
Legends in Concert
Runtime: 50 minJazz Icons: Dave Brubeck boasts two beautifully filmed concerts from one of the most beloved quartets in jazz history. Captured at the pinnacle of their power and popularity, Paul Desmond (alto sax), Joe Morello (drums), Eugene Wright (bass) and Dave Brubeck (piano) explore the trails they blazed into the realm of odd time signatures with “Forty Days” and two versions of their groundbreaking hit “Take Five,” as well as forays into world music with two unique interpretations of “Koto Song.” Their intimate onstage chemistry and impeccable musicianship made the DBQ an award-winning jazz supergroup. Features: 24-page booklet; liner notes by Darius Brubeck; foreword by Doug Ramsey; cover photo by Gus Schuettler; booklet photos by Chuck Stewart, Lee Tanner, Jan Persson, Susanne Schapowalow, and Ray Avery; memorabilia collage; much more! 67 minutes.
Live in Amsterdam 1976
Runtime: 52 minThis concert was recorded live on Marvin Gayes first European tour in 1976. Filmed in Holland at the Edenhalle Concert Hall in Amsterdam before a sell-out audience, this show, preserved now for posterity, was one of his rare live performances captured on film.
Gospel According to Al Green
Runtime: 1 hr 36 minGOSPEL ACCORDING TO AL GREEN looks at Green's transition from hugely successful soul singer to gospel artist and fundamentalist preacher. Filmed in concert in Washington, D.C., in rehearsal in his recording studio, in a service at his Memphis church, and in an extended interview, Green reveals himself to be an electrifying performer, whether singing love songs to women or spiritual ones to God.
Live at Montreux 1976
Runtime: 1 hr 12 minNina Simone one of the great female vocalists of the 20th Century, made four appearances at the Montreux Festival between 1968 and 1990. This film features the whole of the performance from 1976 as the main item, which is supplemented as bonus features by two tracks from her concert in 1987 and four from her final show in 1990. This is the definitive Nina Simone live film.
The Night James Brown Saved Boston
Runtime: 1 hr 14 minApril 5, 1968. It is the day after one of the most catastrophic moments in the history of the civil rights movement. Backstage at the Boston Garden, the mood is somber, appropriately funereal. Just 24 hours ago, Martin Luther King, Jr., the most important and beloved African American leader in America, has been assassinated, and though James Brown is booked that night for a show, nobody really wants to go onstage and play: On April 4, 1968, the leader of the nonviolent resistance movement, Martin Luther King, was assassinated in Memphis; On April 5, 1968, James Brown sang, and the city of Boston didn't burn down. This film tells the story of the pivotal role that James Brown-and that particular James Brown concert-played in the political, social and cultural history of the country, focusing on 1968, a defining year for America. Using actual performance footage and the personal recollections of James Brown's band members, friends like activist Reverend Al Sharpton, personal manager Charles Bobbitt, Princeton University Professor Dr. Cornel West, Boston citizens, those who attended the concert, politicians (such as former Boston Mayor Kevin White) and Newsweek's David Gates, The Night James Brown Saved Boston tells the compelling story of an artist at the absolute peak of his powers using his artistry for the greater good.
Live at Montreux 1993
Runtime: 1 hr 4 minIn the words of Ben Fong-Torres:
Etta James, who passed away in 2012, was such a magnetic singer and presence that she was a semi-regular at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, which is pretty selective about its bills. After her crack band opens with a couple, including “Hold On, I’m Coming,” James kills on “I’d Rather Go Blind,” “I Just Wanna Make Love to You,” and several more. “Come to Mama,” indeed!
Etta James made many appearances at the Montreux Jazz Festival across her long and distinguished career from her first concert in 1975 through to her last in 2008. This film focuses on the concert from 1993 when she was at her absolute peak and complements it with selected tracks from many other Montreux appearances. It features many of her best loved tracks and songs that she is particularly associated with. Etta James was one of the most respected performers of her generation. In a career stretching over 60 years she was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame and the Blues Hall Of Fame, won 3 Grammys and received many more nominations and was named Female Blues Artist Of The Year on no less than 14 occasions. Sadly, Etta James passed away after a long illness in January 2012 and this film is a fitting tribute to one of the greatest female vocalists of the 20th century.
Live at Soundstage
Runtime: 54 minRecorded in High-Definition for the PBS concert series Soundstage, this unforgettable performance features staggering renditions of "Thrill is Gone" and "Let the Good Times Roll" as well as special guest appearances by Terrence Howard, Solange and guitarist Richie Sambora - each of who takes turns sitting in with the blues legend.
A Man and His Music: Part III
Runtime: 52 minFor his 1960s television special, Frank Sinatra organized the show around the loose theme of "rhythm," and chose for his exploration two artists of impeccable credentials: the scat stylings and jazz-influenced delivery of Ella Fitzgerald and the quiet Latin groove of Brazilian bossa nova legend Antonio Carlos Jobim. The program combines beautiful ballads ("Ol' Man River," "Put Your Dreams Away") with brassy up-tempo tunes ("Day In, Day Out," "Get Me to the Church on Time"), though one medley includes some forgivable but hardly memorable attempts at contemporary pop, mixing snatches of "How High the Moon" with "Up, Up and Away," "Don't Cry Joe" with "Ode to Billy Joe." The show slows for a relaxed medley with Jobim, who accompanies a lounging, cigarette-smoking Sinatra with guitar and whispering backing vocals while the Voice drops his volume to an intimate conversational tone for "Change Partners," "I Concentrate on You," and Jobim's own "The Girl from Ipanema." Ella duets with Sinatra on two medleys (contributing a fabulous scat rendition of "Stomping at the Savoy"), solos on "Body and Soul," "It's All Right with Me" and "Don't Be That Way," and finally the two burn up the program with one final duet, a high octane, show-stopping performance of "The Lady Is a Tramp," with Nelson Riddle's orchestra driving the brass to keep up.
Live at Montreux 2006
Runtime: 1 hr 56 minSoul legend Solomon Burke delivers a twenty-song set in Montreux. He delivers renditions of such classics as "Georgia On My Mind," and "I Will Survive,", and he performs a number of medleys that include such recognizable standards as "When the Saints Go Marching In," "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay," and "Tutti Frutti."