If you are a true Ray Charles freak, you'll want Ray Charles: Unreleased. No doubt. When Charles was still "Ray Charles Robinson" recording for Jack Lauderdale's Down Beat Records (later changed to Swing Time). While it is well known that later in his career, when Charles did multiple takes, he would play them in exactly the same way, it's not so on these unreleased sides. The versions of "Honey Honey" here, (one is a false start and the other is an unknown take), is slower than the released version. Other tracks -- there are 19 in all -- "Sittin' on Top of the World," is also slower, gauzier. It's all like that, slippery, raw, immediate, and all Charles at the beginning of his ride, digging deep into blues and jazz; the gospel would come later. This is of real interest for collectors, despite the slim liner note fare.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek