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The Genius Hits the Road

Ray Charles

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Crítica do álbum

In keeping with his jazz/pop crossover ambitions, Ray Charles decided to record a concept album of sorts with a dozen songs devoted to various parts of the U.S. — "Alabamy Bound," "Georgia on My Mind," "Moonlight in Vermont," "California, Here I Come," "Blue Hawaii," and more. The crossover vibe is further heightened by the brassy big-band arrangements, and material from the likes of Al Jolson and Hoagy Carmichael. It sounds a bit corny now, with an in-your-face gung-ho cheer. But it did what Charles wanted it to do, reaching the Top Ten of the album charts, and spinning off a big hit with "Georgia on My Mind." ]The 1997 CD reissue on Rhino adds seven bonus tracks from 1956-1972 that also had a travel/geographic theme, and the best of these are actually the highlights of the record, most notably "Hit the Road Jack," "Lonely Avenue," and his cover of Hank Snow's "I'm Movin' On."]


Nascimento: Setembro/09/1930 em Albany, GA

Género: R&B/Soul

Anos em actividade: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Ray Charles was the musician most responsible for developing soul music. Singers like Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson also did a great deal to pioneer the form, but Charles did even more to devise a new form of black pop by merging '50s R&B with gospel-powered vocals, adding plenty of flavor from contemporary jazz, blues, and (in the '60s) country. Then there was his singing; his style was among the most emotional and easily identifiable of any 20th century performer, up there with the likes of Elvis...
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