Let's start with the bad news, if you're looking to condense your LP collection with this nifty 2-for-1 deal, I have one piece of very bad news, Sony has chosen to omit the track "If I Can Just Make Into Heaven" from the original "Little Suzie." There are really nice live versions of "heaven" on other discs, however.
Who is this Betty Carter??? I have been collecting only the instrumental work of Big Ray, worried that any vocals would obscure the man's genius, but I really, really like him playing under Miss Carter.
Betty Carter has a vocal range that rivals Aretha at the top end, and James Earl Jones at the bottom (I am not kidding! This can be almost alarming at times. I can only imagine how many dates she frightened at moments of passion...but I digress.)
Betty joins Ray on every other track of the first record, and Ray plays some fun and light stuff in between.
"Little Suzie" is a special treat, with a nice studio version of the tittle-track tribute to his cute-as-a-button daughter (featured on the album's cover) and ranging to an especially soulful "Greensleeves.
This is nice collection for dedicated Bryant collectors. If you are new to the genius of Big Ray, start with "Here's Ray Bryant," or maybe the slightly raucous "North of the Border," not that any Ray is gonna do you wrong.