‘-Genio: Live in Brazil
The Music Box's #7 specialty package for 2004
First Appeared in The Music Box, December 2004, Volume 11, #12
Written by John Metzger
To put it simply: ‘-Genio: Live in Brazil, 1963 is a long, lost treasure. Sure, there are times when both the video and audio are a little spotty, but overall, the DVD offers a glimpse at a genuine slice of music history. Featuring an hour-long rehearsal as well as the complete concert that was broadcast live on Brazilian television, the program captures images of Ray Charles at an extraordinary peak in his career. With songs that ranged from his own Whatíd I Say to Jimmie Davisí country classic You Are My Sunshine and from Bobby Timmonsí jazz gem Moaniní to Percy Mayfieldís Hit the Road Jack, the footage beautifully highlights Charlesí eclectic ear, his exquisite vocal abilities, his unerring piano skills, and his talent for continually viewing familiar material from a fresh perspective. However, what is perhaps most astounding about the collection is the manner in which he took such disparate selections and unquestionably made them his own. After all, can anyone but Charles perform You Are My Sunshine and the traditional My Bonnie in the same show and make it sound anything but absurd? That he was just shy of 33 years of age is utterly miraculous, especially considering the emotional resonance that pours through his every utterance. Backed by a 14-piece big band as well as the Raelettes, there certainly was no shortage of inspired moments, though his sparring with vocalist Margie Hendrix as well as his contributions on saxophone to an impromptu jam are among the finest on this remarkable set. Itís easy to cringe when something like ‘-Genio: Live in Brazil, 1963 surfaces so soon after an artistís passing, but in this case, itís a welcome addition to Charlesí canon, one that uniquely spotlights his otherworldly talent.
‘-Genio: Live in Brazil, 1963 is available from
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2004 The Music Box