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Ray Charles’ initial foray into standards is a career highlight. For the first half, Charles’ old friend Quincy Jones crafts hard-swinging big band arrangements that match Ray’s band made up of musicians from the Ellington and Basie camps. Ralph Burns arranges the jazz-meets-string-orchestra second half, which features “Just for a Thrill” and “Come Rain or Come Shine.”

The album showcased Charles’ breakout from rhythm and blues and onto a broader musical stage. Atlantic Records gave him full support in… read more

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