Ray Charles: Come Rain Or Come Shine


Come Rain Or Come Shine


Ray Charles (vocals, piano)


The Genius of Ray Charles (Atlantic 1312)

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Ray Charles (vocals, piano), Bob Brookmeyer (valve trombone),

Allen Hanlon (guitar), Wendell Marshall (bass), Ted Sommer (drums), with Ralph Burns and his Orchestra


Composed by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer


Recorded: New York, May 6, 1959


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

The Genius Of Ray Charles is an essential album and an important cornerstone in Charles’ career. The last album he made for Atlantic, Genius features Charles with a combination of the Count Basie band and his own small group on the first side, and a string-heavy orchestra on the second side. “Come Rain Or Come Shine” is the closing track on the second side and it, along with its session-mates, shows the direction that Charles would take when he recorded his albums of country/western songs for ABC-Paramount. Ralph Burns provides a background that seems deliberately square, with a very white chorus included with the strings. Just as Louis Armstrong had proved with his big bands in the early 30s, black music innovations stand out in bold relief against an extremely white background. I can only assume that Bob Brookmeyer’s presence was to add to the jazz quotient, but despite his fine playing, he’s not really needed: Brother Ray adds all of that himself. What makes “Come Rain Or Come Shine” stand out from the rest of the tracks is Ray’s impassioned delivery of the song. His style, so completely integrated that it’s difficult to isolate individual components, totally envelopes the song and even though he makes several changes to the melody, it sounds as if his version is the way the song was originally written. As has been said many times, when referring to Ray Charles, the word “genius” was not a superlative, but merely accurate.

Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe

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