It's easy to imagine that both the Jazz and the Rhythm'n Blues fans have eagerly awaited this Atlantic LP. The Ertegun brothers, highly praised producers for the early LP phase of these styles, were the catalysts of his creativity for Ray Charles, the 'King of Soul' as he was later called. In his band was already on the first live record, recorded in Newport 1958, the head of the hot wind group just David 'Fathead' Newman. The eight tracks on the LP with the early, green stereo label all originate from the repertoire of the Ray Charles Band, but gain through the long improvisations without vocals of sharpness and jazz feeling. Luckily, commercial pressure is missing. So Ray Charles can concentrate on the piano game and offers outstanding solos.
Also, the blues is not too short: 'Fathead' played in minor. The writer of the liner-notes can only agree, if he defines for himself "Hard Times" as the highlight of the LP. However, the other titles are by no means less good. Therefore, one must express an urgent buy recommendation for this re-release from the early Atlantic-LP-time.