Ray Charles & Milt Jackson – Soul Brothers/Soul Meeting

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These records are “cool” in the classic sense of the word: they swing, groove, whisper and discuss with the sophisticated yet down-home relaxation of a late-night session. While Milt Jackson’s work with the Modern Jazz Quartet represents a kind of bebop perfection, the truism about the MJQ has always been that it’s Jackson the irrepressible soloist and blues spirit that provides the ballast to John Lewis’ more cerebral explorations of form and composition.

At the same time, Ray Charles’ reputation as the definitive gospel-inspired R&B shouter and bandleader overshadows the facts of his jazz background and impressive musicianship. This is a guy, after all, who early in his career wanted to sound as much like Nat Cole as possible–and did, for a time, as both a singer and a pianist. So while these giants meet on the common turf of the blues on these two records, they bring a sharp jazz sensibility to the numerous and varied twelve-bar grooves here. Charles’ stompin’ bebop lines on the bonus track “Charlesville” are only one of the many revelations of this session.

Tracklist

DISC  1
01. How Long Blues
02. Cosmic Ray
03. The Genius After Hours
04. Charlesville
05. Bags Of Blues
06. Deed I Do
07. Blue Funk

DISC 2
01. Soul Brothers
02. Bag’s Guitar Blues
03. Soul Meeting
04. Hallelujah I Love Her So
05. Blue Genius
06. X-Ray Blues
07. Love On My Mind

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