Concord Records recently entered into an exclusive agreement with the Ray Charles Foundation to develop the late artist’s post-1960 catalog. The first installment is Ray Charles — Genius: the Ultimate Collection. This disc which spans his recordings from his Atlantic days through the remainder of his career includes a number of his greatest hits including Hit the Road Jack, What’d I Say, Part 1, Busted, I Can’t Stop Loving You, Sticks and Stones, Drown in My Own Tears, Georgia On My Mind, You Are My Sunshine, Let’s Go Get Stoned, You Don’t Know Me, Crying Time, Yesterday, and America the Beautiful, among the 21 recordings included here.
This will help Concord launch the release of the Genius' ABC-Paramount and Tangerine label recordings, many for digital reissue for the first time. The music here transcends genres and represents some of the finest moments by any performer of American vernacular music. Included are liner notes from veteran jazz writer, Don Heckman.
The music here belongs in any well rounded recording collection.
This review originally appeared in the April 2009 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 315). I have written a review of the a box set from Concord of Ray’s Complete ABC Singles and scheduled posting of it November 18. I received my review copy from either a publicist or Concord Records itself.