Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

Ray Charles/Cleo Laine

  • Porgy and Bess [RCA Victor, 1976] B+

See Also:

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Porgy and Bess [RCA Victor, 1976]
The problem with this Norman Granz brainstorm is Laine, a singer of formidable technique and zero soul who usually gives me tension headaches. But though she's nothing to write liner notes about, only rarely does her unnaturalness intrude--and she does do a great job with the score itself, which is no snap. Charles isn't always inspired--is he ever any more?--but the writing carries him over the smooth spots. Granz deserves credit for holding down the orchestrations and inviting Charles and his combo to improvise on the material. Of course, Granz might also unearth the Porgy and Bess he did twenty years ago with Ella and Louis--as might you. But this will do. B+