Zack: How it has taken us almost 7 years to get to a Ray Charles album defies explanation, but here we are. Ray Charles is a titan of music, and it’s not hard to see…er…hear why. On this album, Ray Charles relies on a bigger sound than many of the singles he’s more well known for, utilizing big band and swing to create stronger horn and string sections underlying his always brilliant piano playing and singing. I thought they complimented him well, and I found something to like about every song on this album.
Favorite Tracks: It Had to Be You; Come Rain or Come Shine; Let the Good Times Roll
Emily: The other day I started watching the new Amazon show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. I've watched four of the eight episodes in season one, and it is just delightful. It takes place in 1958 in New York City, where the titular Midge Maisel is starting out as a stand-up comedian after her husband leaves her for his secretary. The Genius of Ray Charles is of the same era, and listening to it I could just imagine Midge with her stand-up manager or a fellow comedian taking in a Ray Charles show at one of the smoky downtown jazz clubs that populate the show's imagination. Well, by that time I imagine Ray was playing much bigger (but still smoky) venues, but the classic-R&B-and-jazz sound that permeates this album would fit right in alongside Midge's quips and fabulous hats.
Favorite Tracks: It Had to Be You; Let the Good Times Roll; Just for a Thrill