The Genius Hits the Road
Ray Charles Vocals, Piano; Marcus Belgrave Trumpet; John Hunt Trumpet; Joe Bridgewater Trumpet; Ricky Harper Trumpet; Philip Guilbeau Trumpet; Richard Nash Trombone; Harry Betts Trombone; Frank Rosolino Trombone; Ken Shroyer Trombone; Hank Crawford Saxophone; David Newman Saxophone; Leroy Cooper Saxophone; Emmet Dennis Saxophone; Edgar Willis Bass; Roosevelt Sheffield Bass; Milt Turner Drums; William Peeples Drums; Teagle Fleming Drums; Mel Lewis Drums; Bruno Carr Percussion; The Cookies Vocals; The Raeletts Vocals; The Jack Halloran Singers Vocals.
Discovery of the genius of Ray Charles gives the same effect as winning the daily double, making a hole in one, or scoring a touchdown. His performance creates a feeling of exhilaration and warmth and a deeply personal identification with a true artist. His honest singing, with complete immodesty and abandon, makes a familiar standard song and entirely new experience. Ray gives himself wholeheartedly to a song, and his ability to express himself musically is a quality envied by persons with less creative talents Rick Ward, Original Liner Notes
What can you say about Ray Charles that hasnt already been said? His talent is known worldwide and is recognized as one of the best musicians in the history of music.
Its nice when you are able to combine such an accomplished, innovative singer with a dance as fun and equally innovative as The Lindy Hop! There are several tracks on this disc that do just that. Mississippi Mud and Chattanooga Choo Choo are two of those songs. Both have a nice big band sound that I dont necessarily equate with Ray Charles music. He also swings on a couple of bluesy numbers like Hit the Road Jack and a funky Swanee River Rock. Charles also swings slow with Basin Street Blues and California, Here I Come, both songs under 100 beats per minute.
There are 19 tracks on this CD and Ive highlighted the ones I find danceable. However, that doesnt mean the rest of the CD is bad. Hey, its Ray Charles! You get a real good mix of the best Ray Charles has to offer. Even if you arent going to Lindy Hop to these songs, you will enjoy them nonetheless. Especially the waltz, Blue Hawaii.
I would say if you are looking for a CD chock full of danceable swing tunes, youll want to pass on this one. However, if you are looking for a few good, fun swing tunes along with some fantastic songs by a musical genius, this is one youll want in your library.
Bottom Line: To buy or not to buy .. Buy! Heres how: