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Aretha Franklin: Jazz Moods 'Round Midnight (2005)

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Aretha Franklin: Jazz Moods  'Round Midnight How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

What a difference a day makes. Aretha Franklin made her first recordings at age fourteen as a gospel artist in Detroit. And in no time she was sitting on top of the world, pleasing audiences everywhere with soulful anthems like the tender reveries that have been grouped together for this moody "midnight" compilation.

The slow and passionate program comes from her earlier recording years, before Franklin gained worldwide recognition for "Respect" and earned her title as "Queen of Soul." Culled from Love Songs (1962), Jazz to Soul (1962), Laughing on the Outside (1963), The Queen in Waiting (1960-1965), and Soft and Beautiful (1969), the program allows Franklin's performances to be compared favorably with those of Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, and Sarah Vaughan. She's in good company, too, with complementary support from artists such as pianist Ray Bryant, bassist Milt Hinton, drummer Osie Johnson, tenor saxophonist Al Sears, trumpeter Ernie Royal and trombonist Quentin "Butter" Jackson.

Emphasizing moody ballads and bringing in a full string orchestra for a lush background sound, the compilation serves to provide a midnight ambience that proves timeless in its conception. Franklin has always been the Queen of Soul.

Track Listing: Just for a Thrill; What a Difference a Day Makes; God Bless the Child; When the World Was Young; Misty; All Night Long; Skylark; But Beautiful; Only the Lonely; Drinking Again; It Will Have to Do Until the Real Thing Comes Along; For All We Know; Nobody Like You; Without the One You Love.

Personnel: Aretha Franklin: piano, vocals; Ray Bryant: piano; Milt Hinton: bass; Osie Johnson: drummer; Al Sears: tenor saxophone; Ernie Royal: trumpet; Quentin "Butter" Jackson: trombone; others.

Record Label: Sony BMG Legacy

Style: Vocal


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