Exposé Online banner

Ray Charles — Ô Genio Live in Brazil
(Rhino Records R2 970389, 1963/2004, DVD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2005-09-01

Ô Genio Live in Brazil Cover artNot long after releasing one of the signpost LPs of modern pop crossover, Ray Charles took his big band to Brazil and filmed two television programs featuring his live stage set. Charles was just as much a jazz innovator as he was a masterful icon of soul, gospel and pop fusion and it shows in this collection of rare performances. His live show reflected his passionate unique skills set as lead vocalist and nimble piano accompanist from his standard live repertoire. The stark genius is more apparent in these forty-year-old tapes than with the recent Hollywood biography as evidenced by the inclusion of standards. Songs such as “Hit the Road Jack” and “I Can’t Stop Loving You” were mainstays of AM radio during this time-frame and on the live stage they shine brightly. Charles was touring to support Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music which was as popular as it was controversial for the day. Many of his arrangements of country classics such as “You Don’t Know Me” would be associated with Charles over the original performer of the track. Set #1 opens with a blistering version of “What’d I Say” the singer’s first big hit. Other pieces such as the classy instrumental, “Moanin'” show the entire ensemble establishing a smooth chart before the pianist himself takes a solo. David ‘Fathead’ Newman is seen clearly in the front saxophone line along with several other mainstay players of the day. It is also important to note that both sets contain good versions of “You Are My Sunshine,” but it’s the second performance of the traditional piece that stands out as Charles’ backing vocalists carry the piece home. Overall the singer’s stature as one of the most important artists of the 20th century is confirmed by these seminal live recordings from the distant past.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 32, 2004 releases, 1963 recordings

Related artist(s): Ray Charles

Latest news

Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Larry Kucharz - Ambient Green Washes – This is the latest in Kucharz’ Ambient Washes series (following Ambient Blue Washes and Ambient Red Washes, reviewed in issues 27 and 29 respectively), and presents a series of related...  (2006) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues