The Artistry of… Ray Charles

The voice is the voice of a storyteller — as engaging in a whisper as it is in a full-out cry of dramatic anguish. There is nothing contrived; it is as pure as it is genuine. Get caught up in a story, watch a film, enjoy a drama or stage show, and you will let even simple distractions carry you away if the experience just does not come across as genuine.

Playing or singing, and even better when doing both, the voice of Ray Charles carries me on sweet journeys. It is music that takes hold and embraces. It sets me adrift on adventures, like guided welcome distraction, finding experiences that relate and resonate with the emotions conveyed. It is not just about simple things, like happy or sad, but blends and twists and turns of phrase and turns and measures of emotional impact in the depths of a chord or line of the music.

Sometimes a word will come as a whisper or part of it will trail off that way, and I will hang on to every moment of its utterance — hooked to it and holding on as tightly as I can in that way that emotion takes over your momentum and can stop you in your tracks. For me it is music that is in touch.

The Artistry of… airs Wednesday evenings on Dinner Jazz with John Devenish.