Birth Of A Band – 1963

Ray Charles Orchestra


Featuring Tina Brooks & David “Fathead” Newman

From a concert in Brazil on Sept. 19, 1963, the Ray Charles Orchestra romps through the swinging Quincy Jones blues “Birth Of A Band.”

This exciting performance includes a tenor tradeoff by Charles’ long-time saxophonist David “Fathead” Newman” (who solos first) and the legendary and largely elusive Tina Brooks.

While Newman had a long and productive career, Tina Brooks (1932-74) led five albums for the Blue Note label during 1958-61 but only one (True Blue) was released during his lifetime.

Brooks did not record after 1961 and his heroin habit shortened his life; he only made it to the age of 42.

“Birth Of A Band” may be the only film of Tina Brooks being seen soloing, so it is not only a heated performance (with the Ray Charles band sounding a bit like Count Basie’s) but a historical find.

-Scott Yanow

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