Ray Charles performed a kind of musical miracle, winning the hearts of blues fans, jazz fans, country fans, everyone. His songs, from Hoagy Carmichael’s “Georgia On My Mind” to “What’d I Say,” are here to stay.
Though we don’t have Charles, and his distinctive style, around any more – he died 10 years ago this spring – we do have Ellis Hall, who puts his own spin on the old favorites, all the while doing justice to Charles’ legacy. Hall is joining the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in a tribute to the master. If any substitute is acceptable, Hall is. Blind since his teenage years because of a wrestling accident, he was signed to Charles’ Crossover label.
Judging from reports of his show in other cities, Hall looks like Charles and performs like Charles. He does satisfying renditions of all the old hits, with a lot of Motown in the mix for good measure.
The show takes place at 8 p.m. Saturday in Kleinhans Music Hall. Admission is $28-$76. For info, call 885-5000.
– Mary Kunz Goldman