VOICES Notes and news on Jazz Vocals releases
09 AUG 11 ANNE FARNSWORTH
Joining the parade of Concord's summer releases comes Ray Charles' Hit The Road Jack - And Other Classic Hits, a deftly curated sampler of live and studio recordings. This latest offering continues Concord's commitment to the legacy of the Genius of Soul, ensuring that younger generations remain aware of the incomparable contributions that Charles made to American music.
No Charles retrospective would be complete without Ray's rollicking anthem "What'd I Say." This version is from Live In Berlin, and it opens with an extended version of that iconic piano intro which drives the audience into a frenzy.
One of the most extraordinary of Ray Charles' accomplishments was his ability to transform a song by stylistically re-imagining it. On Modern Sounds Of Country And Western, he updates the WWII-era "You Are My Sunshine," featuring the sweet and sexy Raelettes and set it in the country/soul subgenre that he singlehandedly invented.
The title cut comes from 1960's The Genius Hits The Road, a pet project of Charles, who wanted to put together an album of vintage songs celebrating American destinations. "Georgia On My Mind" featured on this release from the Live In Japan album, was also on that original album, although it was Hoagy Carmichael's sister Georgia rather than the state who inspired lyricist Stuart Gorrell's reverie. The song became Ray's first #1 hit and earned him two Grammys.
This is a great compilation to give to the budding music enthusiast in your life or, for yourself, something to pop into the car's stereo for your own late summer road trip.