Manufacturer: Concord Records / Hear Music
"I've recorded with so many amazing artists in my career but never on a duets album of my own. I thought it was time to have some of the friends that I love & the artists that I admire come into my studio & sing with me live, the way we did it in the old days," explains Ray Charles on the genesis of Genius Loves Company. "All the guests brought their own magic to each song. That's what we wanted & that's exactly what we got." Ray's confidence is understandable. Genius Loves Company stands as a remarkable hallmark in a remarkable career. In his brilliant debut for Concord Records, Ray sings a dozen duets with a dazzling array of guest artists from virtually every genre, who have won a combined 79 GRAMMYr Awards. "We cover it all," Ray adds, "from country to R&B, pop, rock & blues. I've never let them put me in a little box, & this CD expresses that open feeling. A beautiful song is a beautiful song-and to sing with so many beautiful singers is a blessing from God." The fact that Genius Loves Company will be Ray Charles's final new album inspires an unavoidable blue feeling. But it's also a happy reminder that the man spent the last months of his life at work doing what he loved. The overall effect of these dozen duets is autumnal and smooth. Brother Ray is on point and cruising here. Fine moments abound--you can hear his delight even in the rather stiff company of Diana Krall and Natalie Cole. His voice sounds a bit frayed by ill health at times, but it also allows for great performances like the slyness behind the ache in his version of the old soul hit "Hey Girl" with Michael McDonald and a grand "Crazy Love" with Van Morrison. Potently, he and Gladys Knight remind us of the continued timeliness of Stevie Wonder's "Heaven Help Us All." Its best moments make Company one more essential purchase for Ray Charles fans. --Rickey Wright
Genius Loves Company is great in stereo but itâ€™s incredible in surround sound, the music opens up and the dynamic among the artists is more transparent, more alive. You hear Billy Prestonâ€™s Hammond B3 in its own channel. There is an eighty-piece orchestra, a gospel choir and a horn section. In surround sound you can hear each instrument. Because there is more space in a surround field, you can hear the trumpet and the trombone separately-with each instrument occupying its own space in stereo itâ€™s all pressed together. In surround sound itâ€™s larger-than-life. Genius Loves Company won eight Grammy Awards, joining the rarefied company of Michael Jacksonâ€™s Thriller and Santanaâ€™s Superstition. It is the first winner of the "Best Surround Mix" Grammy, and itâ€™s easy to understand why. In surround Sound you hear more character and passion. It allows you to explore the relationships between the artists. You really feel like you are in the company of Ray Charles. This SuperDisc also includes the original stereo recording for your CD player.
Of the 30 Fats classics somehow crammed into this single CD, 29 were R&B Top 10s! Great collection: Ain't That a Shame; Blueberry Hill; I'm in Love Again; Blue Monday; I'm Walkin'; The Fat Man; Goin' Home; All by Myself; Poor Me; Whole Lotta Loving; Going to the River; Honey Chile; Valley of Tears , and more.
The producers of this CD discovered archival reels of Ray Charles and the Count Basie Orchestra performing live on the same bill in 1973. Although the vocals were superior, the remaining elements were of extremely poor quality. They decided to bring the current Count Basie Orchestra into the studio and, using the latest technology, they carefully and painstakingly laid down a new musical backdrop for Charles' towering vocals. 'Ray Charles and Count Basie were two of the most charismatic personalities I've ever known. I loved them both. So to hear this amazing collaboration of their musical geniuses is a treat of the highest order. When 21st century technology and timeless soul come together, watch out! This one is for the ages'.-Quincy Jones To fake or not to fake: That is the question consumers must answer for themselves in assessing this feat of aural Photoshopping: an "imaginary concert" created by combining recently discovered soundboard tapes of Ray Charles's vocals from a mid-'70s European show and newly recorded backing by the Count Basie Orchestra--the "ghost band," still on the road 22 years after Count's passing. Charles is in exceptional voice, singing the heck out of standards like "How Long Has This Been Going On?," Genius classics like "Busted," and pop covers like Melanie's "Look What They've Done to My Song." His performance is a thrilling corrective to forgettable posthumous albums like Genius Loves Company, designed to cash in on the new audience created for him by the movie Ray. But as competently as the Basie band fill in the blanks under the direction of Bill Hughes, with Joey DeFrancesco guesting on organ, most of the new arrangements are rather pallid, and the ensemble lacks the personality of both the Basie orchestra and Charles's best groups. And as attractive as Ray Sings, Basie Swings may be for the casual listener, the gimmickry will appall serious fans, particularly since neither Charles nor Basie--who never collaborated in life--was around to lend his approval. Is The Doors Sing, Wo...
Lost Highway releases the Deadwood Soundtrack, compiling songs appearing at the close of each episode. The soundtrack features an eclectic mix of artist ranging from Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee to Lyle Lovett to June Carter Cash. The West of veteran TV writer/Deadwoodcreator David Milch is as grim as it is gritty, sprinkled with salty dialogue and punctuated by sudden brutality and raw sexuality. The original soundtrack cues by composer David Schwartz (represented here by his evocative show theme), Michael Brook and Reinhold Heil and Johnny Klimek play off that vision with often stark rootsiness. But it's the series' rich slate of songs -- choices whose inventiveness often rivals that of The Sopranos -- that consistently reinforce its all-too-human drama, if not the crusty veneer. This collection gathers the best songs from the series' first season, coloring the milieu with evocative hillbilly romps like Michael Hurley's "Hog of the Forsaken" and the a capella grace of Margaret's Native American "Creek Lullaby." But the collection's musical eclecticism stretches far beyond mere genre concerns, variously encompassing the nascent jazz of Jelly Roll Morton (a rollicking "Stars and Stripes Forever"), Delta blues of Bukka White and Mississippi John Hurt and even Gustavo Santaolalla's hypnotic Brazilian fretwork. But the collection's country and folk-tinged performances are its most resonant, whether invoking earthy traditions (the gospel fervor of the late June Carter Cash's "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee's more heretical "God and Man") or more contemporary stylings like Lyle Lovett's "Old Friend" and the gentle "Twisted Little Man" by Michael J. Sheehy. --Jerry McCulley
Manufacturer: Elektra / Wea
Brand: DR. JOHN
Mac Rebennack's sprawling career's not an easy one to capture in a compilation, but this 16-track Rhino collection is about as good as it gets! Includes Right Place, Wrong Time; Mama Roux; Junko Partner; Tipitina; Jump Sturdy; I Walk on Guilded Splinters; Goin' Back to New Orleans; Mos' Scocious , and more.
Precious Lord Recordings of The Great Gospel Songs of Thomas A Dorsey
Manufacturer: SBME SPECIAL MKTS.
On this 16-track collection we get to hear some legendary artists perform the great compositions from "the father of gospel music." Includes Take My Hand, Precious Lord Marion Williams; When the Gates Swing Open Dixie Hummingbirds; (There'll Be) Peace in the Valley R. H. Harris; Highway to Heaven Alex Bradford (with Dorsey on piano), and others.