Ray Charles

RC_GLC_10TH_SQ-edited
Ray Charles
Genius Loves Company: 10 Anniversary Deluxe Edition
Concord/Hear Music
by David Chiu

Hard to believe it’s been 10 years since the release of Ray Charles’ acclaimed duets album. The Genius died just a month before its original release date of August 31, 2004 but he would have certainly appreciated the massive success Genius Loves Company had reaped – including the Grammy for Album of the Year – not to mention the biopic Ray that earned Jamie Foxx the best actor Oscar. Those factors aside, Genius Loves Company stands out as a worthy album in itself, showcasing Charles’ immortal talents not only in his performances but how blended so well in terms of working with other artists. (It is hard to believe that Charles had never done a duets album prior to this release). Under the superb production of John Burk and the late great Phil Ramone, Genius Loves Company is a testament to the art of collaboration: from the soulful country-blues of “Here We Go Again” (with Norah Jones) and the melancholy “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” (with Elton John); through the seductive “Fever” (with Natalie Cole) and the lush and bittersweet “It Was a Very Good Year” (with Willie Nelson); to the soulful “Crazy Love” (with Van Morrison). This 10th anniversary edition of the record contains a making-of DVD documentary and two bonus tracks: “Mary Ann” featuring Latin music artist Poncho Sanchez and an a capella performance of Charles’ classic “Unchain My Heart” by Take 6. Genius Loves Company is a wonderful epitaph to the legend’s career and remains timeless.

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