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29 January 2010

Genius + Soul = Jazz (1961)

  1. From The Heart
  2. I’ve Got News For You
  3. Moanin’
  4. Let’s Go
  5. One Mint Julep
  6. I’m Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town (Clark Terry, on intro - tp, Billy Mitchell - ts)
  7. Stompin' Room Only
  8. Mister C (Urbie Green - tb)
  9. Strike Up The Band
  10. Birth Of The Blues
Issued on ABC Records’ legendary Impulse jazz label, the record was a surprising success on the pop and R&B charts. It climbed to the #4 spot on Billboard’s pop album chart. I've Got News For You, rose to #8 R&B and #66 on the Hot 100. One Mint Julep charted #1 R&B and #8 pop (Ray's first instrumental hit). I’m Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town reached #25 R&B and #84 pop. 

Tunes #1 - 3, 7 - 9: 
Ray Charles played the Hammond C3** organ (prepared by Rudy Van Gelder). Seven of the tracks were instrumentals. Other musicians: Philip Guilbeau (all trumpet solos), Thad Jones, Joe Newman, Clark Terry, Eugene (Snooky) Young - trumpets; Henry Coker, Urbie Green, Al Grey, Benny Powell - trombones; Marshall Royal, Frank Wess - alto saxophones; Frank Foster, Billy Mitchell - tenor saxophones; Charlie Fowlkes - bariton saxophone; Freddie Green - guitar; Eddie Jones - bass; Sonny Payne - drums.
Set of 5 33 1/3 'singles' for jukeboxes
(Impulse A2S1 - 5).

Tunes #4 - 6, 10:
John Frosk, Jimmy Nottingham, Philip Guilbeau (all trumpet solos except intro #6), Clark Terry (trumpet solo on intro of #6), Joe Wilder - trumpet; Jimmy Cleveland, Urbie Green, Keg Johnson, George Matthews - trombone; George Dorsey, Earle Warren - alto saxophone; Budd Johnson, Seldon Powell - tenor saxophone; Haywood Henry - bariton saxophone; Sam Herman - guitar; Joe Benjamin - bass; Roy Haynes - drums.

Creed Taylor on Ray Charles' organ on Genius + Soul = Jazz: "Rudy [Van Gelder] did some adjusting on the inside so the keys had a more percussive effect than a normal one. It was a Hammond B3 doctored by Rudy. He had done this on organs before for other recording dates. The result was a more definite attack than a normal organ."

Quincy Jones (#1, 3, 5, 6, 9), Ralph Burns (#2, 4, 7, 8, 10) - arrangers; Creed Taylor - producer. Quincy hired Clark Terry to "contract the date", i.e. to choose the musicians. Guilbeau was Ray's own choice.
* Based on notes by Joël Dufour. **C3 in stead of B3: read this.

Genius + Soul = Jazz (pron. Genius Plus Soul Equals Jazz) was recorded at the Van Gelder Studios in Englewood Cliffs, on 26 and 27 December 1960. Album: Impulse 2, February 1961.
Phil Ramone later remembered (erroneously?) that he also recorded Ray for this album at A&R Studios in NYC.

The complete album:

For more details, read Ashley Khan's The House That Trane Built: The Story of Impulse Records (New York, 2006).

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