The Best Musicians I have known…. #1

As a young man, I was blessed to have been offered a tenure track job teaching music in higher education before I even graduated from the University of Miami. Opportunities that came after the tenure track, just could not be automatically accepted. I remember when my friend Ray, a trumpet player with the band, called about an opening in the Ray Charles, and that I was under strong consideration. Since I had taken a job, I had to decline, but was honored. Ray Charles is one of the most inventive singers, band leaders, showmen, and entrepreneurs in the history of Jazz, and a vital force on keyboard and saxophone. Many of the musicians and singers that performed with Ray Charles are legends in their own right!

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Sometimes, God gives second (and third and fourth…), chances. He has promised those who seek him to guide their footsteps and provide the desires of their heart. I always wished that I could have joined Ray’s Band and when Frank Sinatra’s contractor, Morty Bullman, retired to Miami, I got my chance.

With years of expertise hearing the best musicians New York City had to offer in addition to those attracted to Frank Sinatra during his recording years in LA, Morty had a way of assembling the grooviest band possible from the elite South Florida Musicians available-a considerable pool of expertise in its own right.

This is my favorite of the FIFTEEN tracks we performed live, video recorded and audio recorded with the man who brought the feel and vocal stylings of the sacred music of Black American Gospel to the rest of the World! “America the Beautiful”, was the finale, and my favorite. Barring any objections, I would have to say that Ray Charles may just be the finest musician with whom I have had the privilege of having been associated.

c. 2023 David William Brubeck All Rights Reserved

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