on 28 September 2006
This album is classic Ray with lucsious strings and brass arrangements. Featuring that 'big band' sound that is synonymous with Basie and Ellington. In his very productive career Charles gradually progressed from playing in his own trio to adding brass and wind instruments and a backing vocal group dubbed 'the raelettes'. I would describe the love songs on this album as smooth and visceral (from the heart), the stand-out track for me being 'come rain or come shine'. A very special album from a very special artist.
on 23 February 2005
If you are trying to work out what genius is, you should be listening to this record. Because this is indeed a great CD not only for Ray Charles fans but for all people who love beautiful, versatile and intelligent music. This 19-track CD includes one of the best songs by the late Ray Charles. "Blues Is My Middle Name" sings Ray Charles but so is R&B and Soul, Jazz and Rock'n'Roll because he literally influenced American music like no other artist did and all these genres wouldn't be the same if it wasn't for Ray Charles. If you haven't got anything by America's greatest singer, then this album is strongly recommended!!!
There are many releases of this disc. Mine is in the Atlantic Masters series, but has the same content as described here. Atlantic had the annoying habit of printing white on red in miniscule font size so my aging eyes find reading the cover, and enclosed booklet nigh on impossible! The track titles are in black! Hooray!
It seems that the backing band is made up largely of members of the Basie and Ellington bands plus some supplements e.g. Zoot Sims, David Fathead Newman, etc. who ever they are they sure can play. There is a string backing on some tracks e.g. "Just For A Thrill".
Charles sings on every track and plays piano.
This is a worthy album with some star recordings e.g. "let The Good Times Roll", "Just For A Thrill", "Come Rain or Come Shine".