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Ray Charles

"In music you just can't escape when something is beautiful," Ray Charles recently said. Added the legendary singer/pianist/composer, "Like a good song, you can't get away from a good song. You have a good song, and it will still be beautiful, even when somebody with a bad voice sings it. I love the old writers, who wrote beautiful love songs. I came up on those kinds of songs. But I have just as much love for blues and jazz too. "It's like {{m: Duke Ellington = 6521}} said; there are only two kinds of music - good and bad. And you can tell when something is good." That observation can apply to anything in Charles' extensive catalog. From country to blues to jazz to R&B and even funk, the 73- year old Charles has set the aesthetic standard for more than five decades, earning plaudits across the globe and setting standards that his legion of fans, in and out of the entertainment industry, aspire to. More often than not he wasn't called by his name - or even his longtime nickname "Brother Ray"---his is simply "The Genius." His career has borne that title out. Few artists can claim to have had such a wide ranging impact on the music we love, and even fewer have altered the course of so many musical streams - from his soul-jazz combos to his crucial R&B bands, to his landmark country music recordings, "Modern Sounds in Country Music." Only modesty kept him from saying the obvious - that his name sits at the top of the soul singers list. Ray Charles Robinson was born in Albany, Georgia on September 23, 1930 (he shares a birthday with another musical icon, John Coltrane). Charles was not born blind - he lost his sight to undiagnosed glaucoma at age seven. He enrolled in the St

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Louise Cappi: Mélange

Read "Mélange" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Vocalist Louise Cappi's recording Mélange is a musical collection of short stories, each cast as uniquely and differently as if they were written by a Mario Vargas Llosa or Gabriel García Márquez. Each selection is carefully curated, right down to the production, to achieve a given end. The title is apt as each of these songs ...

Take Five with Alex Bird

Read "Take Five with Alex Bird" reviewed by Alex Bird

Meet Alex Bird Alex Bird is a singer/songwriter and actor in jny: Toronto, ON. With a swinging style and an indescribable charm, Alex and his “Jazz Mavericks" are currently working on an entirely new chapter in the Great American Songbook, with their soon to be released, all original debut album, “Whisky Kisses" (Summer 2020). “The Way ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

Bucky Pizzarelli: Remembering Family Rhythms On The Roads Of New Jersey

Read "Bucky Pizzarelli: Remembering Family Rhythms On The Roads Of New Jersey" reviewed by Arthur R George

Guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, from 1926 to his passing at age 94 on April 1, lived his entire life in New Jersey, and had said that he couldn't imagine living anywhere else. Forget the turnpike jokes. Remember instead the nearness to jazz in New York, the closeness of family, shared driving in the New Jersey night, the ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

20 Seattle Jazz Musicians You Should Know: Gail Pettis

Read "20 Seattle Jazz Musicians You Should Know: Gail Pettis" reviewed by Paul Rauch

The city of jny: Seattle has a jazz history that dates back to the very beginnings of the form. It was home to the first integrated club scene in America on Jackson St in the 1920's and '30s. It saw a young Ray Charles arrive as a teenager to escape the nightmare of Jim Crow in ...

ARTICLE: HISTORY OF JAZZ

Elis Regina and Antonio Carlos Jobim: A Musical Love Story and a Timeless Recording

Read "Elis Regina and Antonio Carlos Jobim: A Musical Love Story and a Timeless Recording" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

One of my all-time favorite albums and desert island picks is Elis and Tom (Phillips, 1974), featuring duets by the legendary Antonio Carlos “Tom" Jobim and Elis Regina, an iconic Brazilian singer lesser known in the U.S. who a few years later died of a drug overdose at the age of 36. I'm writing about it ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

The Very Singular Mr. Ran Blake

Read "The Very Singular Mr. Ran Blake" reviewed by Duncan Heining

There have been few American composers and musicians, with the ability to encapsulate their country's music in all its racial and ethnic complexity. We might perhaps point to Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Charles Ives and perhaps, in their own distaff ways, Harry Partch and Steve Reich. In jazz, their number is fewer still--Duke Ellington and George ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Falcarragh Winter Jazz Festival 2019

Read "Falcarragh Winter Jazz Festival 2019" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Falcarragh Winter Jazz Festival Various venues Falcarragh, Ireland December 6-7, 2019 Two days, three venues and six gigs. Small but beautiful. After the success of its inaugural edition in 2018, Falcarragh Winter Jazz Festival returned to the west-Donegal town with almost exactly the same format, and bar one eleventh hour ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

David Sanborn: The Curtain Rises on Sanborn Sessions

Read "David Sanborn: The Curtain Rises on Sanborn Sessions" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Listed alphabetically, as opposed to first, second, and third place, Cannonball Adderley, Charlie Parker, and David Sanborn are as good as it gets when discussing the best and most influential alto saxophone players of all-time. Now before you say what about Phil Woods or Kenny Garrett or any number of others, let me qualify that this ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Jane Monheit & Clint Holmes At Jazz For All Ages

Read "Jane Monheit & Clint Holmes At Jazz For All Ages" reviewed by Martin McFie

Jane Monheit & Clint Holmes with the Christian Tamburr Quartet Sonesta Oceanfront Resort Jazz for all ages Hilton Head Island, SC October 30-31, 2019 In this centennial Nat “King" Cole year, The Junior Jazz Foundation invited Christian Tamburr to arrange and direct the first night of music. In addition to ...


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