CD of the Month
November 2010 CD of the Month
The late Ray Charles’ would’ve turned 80 this past September 23rd, 2010, however it’s all the fans of Brotha Ray around the world that have been given the opportunity to receive a gift from Ray with the recent release of Rare Genius: The Undiscovered Masters containing 10 previously unavailable songs recorded from the 1970s through the 1990s. Ray Charles was a master of interpretation, he excelled singing gospel, blues, jazz, country, R ‘n’B, soul, funk and pop music. In addition to his talents as a vocalist Brotha Ray was a gifted pianist. He could also hold his own on the saxophone and was an outstanding sound engineer. The album concludes with a gospel gem featuring a duet with the legendary Johnny Cash.
Back in the early 1960s when Ray decided to leave the Atlantic Records label he proved he had just as much business acumen as musical talent by negotiating with his new label, ABC-Paramount, to have complete control of all of his recorded masters and publishing rights, a rare commodity for any artist at the time and non-existent for an African-American artist. This brilliant move led to Ray building his very own recording studio in Los Angeles where he spent a great deal of his time when not on tour. After Ray’s passing, his estate found dozens of unpublished songs he recorded over the years making this new musical treasure possible.
This past October, the Ray Charles Foundation in partnership with Concord Music released Rare Genius: The Undiscovered Masters. There are still more undiscovered masters in the archives of Mr. Charles’ R P M International studio. We look forward to hearing more unreleased gems in the future. Meanwhile, unwrapping this musical present from “The Genius” Ray Charles and playing it will satisfy the most ardent aficionado. Additionally, creating a brand new fan base ensuring the legacy of Ray Charles will continue to grow.