Ray Charles' seminal recordings for Atlantic have been boxed once before, as the triple-disc 1991 set The Birth of Soul. That box contained 53 tracks, the best moments of what is arguably the best period of Charles' career, but Rhino/Atlantic's 2005 seven-disc sequel, Pure Genius, doesn't bother with merely the highlights: as its subtitle makes clear, this is The Complete Atlantic Recordings (1952-1959). This is undeniably a major historical release, since it gathers all of the recordings Charles made at his creative peak, not just as a leader, but as a sideman for his saxophonist David "Fathead" Newman and sides he recorded with jazz vibraphonist Milt Jackson.
In the early '50s, Ray Charles took the fiery passion of gospel and the hard-hitting sound of the blues, and by putting them together he created a whole new sound in rhythm & blues that helped make him a legend in American music.
Ray Charles' explorations into country music were no mere dalliance. They have their genesis in "I'm Movin' On," the last record he made for Atlantic before moving on to ABC Paramount in 1960. But it was with the enormously successful Modern Sounds in Country & Western series of albums in 1962 (and the career making single "I Can't Stop Lovin' You") that made their mark, crossing over genre boundaries that were unthinkable at the time. An African-American doing hillbilly music was not a first, nor were uptown arrangements of hillbilly songs, but here was the Genius of Soul validating the music of the white working class, plain and simple.
Genius Loves Company is the final studio album by rhythm and blues and soul musician Ray Charles, posthumously released August 31, 2004 on Concord Records. Recording sessions for the album took place between June 2003 and March 2004. The album consists of rhythm and blues, soul, country, blues, jazz and pop standards performed by Charles and several guest musicians, such as Natalie Cole, Elton John, James Taylor, Norah Jones, B.B. King, Gladys Knight, Diana Krall, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson and Bonnie Raitt. Genius Loves Company was the last album recorded and completed by Charles before his death in June 2004…
7 Classic Albums, Vol. 2 album for sale by The Ray Charles Singers was released 2013 on the Real Gone Jazz label. EU-only four CD collection containing seven albums from the Soul/Jazz/Rock icon. Includes the albums In Person, The Genius Sings The Blues, Soul Meeting, The Genius Afterhours, Dedicated To You, Genius = Soul = Jazz And Ray Charles And Betty Carter. They come in a double thick Jewel Box on 4 CDs. All the albums been digitally remastered and enhanced for superior quality and the Real Gone Jazz label has garnered some really good reviews for sound quality. The digitally enhanced sound is a good indicator. A mumber of lush orchestral numbers a la Nat King Cole but oh well. They are good too. These are from 1960-61. Half of the fourth disc is composed of duets with Betty Carter. Disc 2 is all piano plus instrumentals, with Milt Jackson on the first half.
This varied, budget-priced, four-disc set collects seven of the great Ray Charles' Atlantic Records LPs, plus an LP from ABC Records in the same package, which means one hears Charles in all sorts of formats, with small combos, at the piano in an intimate setting, with full orchestras, and in live performance, and it adds up to a wide-angle look at one of the most important voices of 20th century pop music. Included are the albums Ray Charles and The Great Ray Charles, both from 1957, Yes, Indeed!! and Brothers of Soul, both from 1958, Ray Charles at Newport, What'd I Say, and The Genius of Ray Charles, all from 1959, and The Genius Hits the Road from 1960. Genius, indeed – this is vintage Ray Charles in the middle of his legendary career, all for a budget price.