Genius & Friends

Genius & Friends

by Ray Charles


A couple truisms come to mind when listening to Genius & Friends, the album of duets that Ray Charles began in 1997 and '98 and that was completed, following his instructions, after his death in 2004. First, no one can or will equal Charles' deeply soulful phrasing. Second, it doesn't matter: As long as his partner doesn't try to outshine Charles by mimicking his style or by out-shouting him, and as long as Charles is there anchoring the proceedings, the results will impress. Although recorded beforehand, Genius & Friends follows the Grammy-winning Genius Loves Company, but whereas Company favored lean, retro-tinged R&B arrangements, Friends has a decidedly modern neo-soul sound, often using synthesized keyboards and contemporary gospel choirs suited to Charles' partners, such as Angie Stone, John Legend, and Mary J. Blige. Charles' genius, however, came from his ability to mix and cross genres, and he makes everything his own, whether it's John Lennon's "Imagine" (with Ruben Stoddard and the Harlem Gospel Singers) or the old Les McCann hit "Compared to What" (with Leela James). And he still sounds invested in signature tunes like "Busted" (with Willie Nelson), "You Are My Sunshine" (with Chris Isaak), and "America the Beautiful" (which pairs Alicia Keys's performance at the 2005 Super Bowl with Charles' recording). George Michaels's falsetto vocals on "Blame It on the Sun" and Diana Ross's bluesy turn on "Big Bad Love" are highlights, but the star here, of course, is Ray Charles.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/20/2005
Label: Rhino
UPC: 0081227318529
catalogNumber: 73185

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ray Charles   Primary Artist,Piano,Vocals
Willie Nelson   Vocals
Chris Isaak   Vocals
Gladys Knight   Vocals
Kooper   Musical Direction
Patti LaBelle   Vocals
George Michael   Vocals
Diana Ross   Vocals
Mary J. Blige   Vocals
Charles Calello   Conductor
Jamshied Sharifi   Conductor
Angie Stone   Vocals
Laura Pausini   Vocals
Idina Menzel   Vocals
Andraé Crouch Singers   Vocals
Alicia Keys   Vocals
Ruben Studdard   Vocals
Leela James   Vocals
John Legend   Vocals

Technical Credits

Jimmie Davis   Composer
Ray Charles   Producer,Engineer
John Lennon   Composer
Quincy Jones   Executive Producer
Joe Sample   Composer
Mike Post   Arranger
Gene McDaniels   Composer
James Austin   Liner Notes
Dinky Bingham   Engineer
Paul Breslin   Producer
Charles Calello   Arranger
Sally Jo Dakota   Composer
Ahmet Ertegun   Executive Producer
Frank Filipetti   Engineer
Tom Flye   Engineer
Jerry Hey   Producer
Ken Hirsch   Composer
Harlan Howard   Composer
Jay Levy   Composer
Narada Michael Walden   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Charles Mitchell   Composer
Phil Ramone   Producer,Audio Production
Marc Reyburn   Engineer
Schmitt   Engineer
David Schober   Engineer
Jamshied Sharifi   Arranger,Programming
Steve Tyrell   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Tommy Vicari   Engineer
Stevie Wonder   Composer
Syreeta Wright   Composer
Aaron Zigman   Programming
Terry Howard   Engineer
Samuel A. Ward   Composer
Ron Weisner   Executive Producer
David Frazer   Engineer
James Bevelle   Engineer
Stephanie Tyrell   Composer
Katherine Lee Bates   Composer
Darin "Zone" McKinney   Composer,Programming
Rodney "Cortada" Alejandro   Programming
Bob Gratts   Engineer
Andy Manganello   Engineer
Mark Valentine   Engineer
Sunny Hilden   Composer
Masaki Koike   Cover Design
Ray Charles   Executive Producer
Erwan LeMarcHadour   Producer
Gregory H. Willenborg   Executive Producer
Eric Schilling   Engineer

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Genius & Friends 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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