Jeff Rupert and his Flying Horse Big Band honor the artistry and career of Ray Charles – and the title of the recording FLORIDA RAYS reflects Charles’ birthplace and the span of his career from his beginnings in Florida to his final move to Seattle. While everyone knows and loves Ray Charles’ interpretations and style, Jeff Rupert explains the nidus for this recording – ‘Charles’ original approach to music became our goal for this project at Flying Horse Records. We simply stand on the shoulders of greatness and attempt to perform in an original way (just as Charles had), while maintaining the melody and flavor of his takes on these classic tunes.’
It is a pleasure to hear these songs that recall Ray Charles, but it is also a revelation to experience the very high quality of this big band sound. Guest artists joining the Big Band on this recording include Rob Paparozzi – vocals and harmonica, and vocalists Vance Villastrigo, DaVonda Simmons, and Khristian Dentley.
The Songs – One Mint Julep, Let the Good Times Roll, Hallelujah I Love Her So, I’m Movin’ On, It Should’ve Been Me, Lonely Avenue, What I Say, You Don’t Know Me, Watermelon Man, (It’s Not Easy) Bein’ Green, Hit the Road, Jack, and Unchain My Heart.
Pure pleasure from downbeat to encore! Highly recommended.