Ray Charles

My Kind of Jazz, Pt. 2

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Rarely if ever discussed among the vast riches of the Ray Charles catalog, the long out of print My Kind of Jazz, Number 2 is ripe for rediscovery. A potent collection of soul-jazz instrumentals recalling Charles' big-band sessions from the early '60s, it remains a vivid and authoritative portrait of his remarkable skills on the piano. Crafted in collaboration with arrangers Teddy Edwards, Jimmy Heath, and Al Clausen, the album pairs Charles with an uncredited and presumably anonymous backing group that nevertheless proves wonderfully complementary. The songs are bombastic yet nuanced, expansive yet laser-focused, and thoughtful yet deeply funky.

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