Hard to believe that it’s almost ten years since the passing of RAY CHARLES. In a 58 year career Uncle Ray appeared on over 250 albums, defied categorization, helped breakdown racial boundaries, was a founding father of soul and was probably garlanded and honoured more than any other artist. Little wonder that he was dubbed “The Genius”.

To celebrate that very genius and to mark his 10th anniversary, Warner Jazz are all set to release a wonderful 3 CD, 83 track compilation on him.

‘King Of Cool – The Genius Of Ray Charles’ covers his seminal work at Atlantic between 1952-1959 and of course it features all the man’s big tunes – stuff like ‘Mess Around’, ‘I’ve Got a Woman’, ‘Get On The Right Track Baby’, and ‘What’d I Say’ – with its riffs, syncopation, Gospel inflections and impassioned lead vocal, credited as one of the essential pioneering soul recordings.

Lots of other essential cuts too like ‘Just For a Thrill’, ‘Night Time Is The Right Time’ and the evergreen ballad, ‘Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying’.

Charles collectors will be delighted to know that the album features a couple of real rarities – a 1958 out take version of ‘Tell Me How You Feel’ and a version of ‘Let The Good Times Roll’ which features recorded dialogue about the arrangement.

KING OF COOL –THE GENIUS OF RAY CHARLES is released on Warner Jazz on 15th July.