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Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin is one of the giants of soul music, and indeed of American pop as a whole. More than any other performer, she epitomized soul at its most gospel-charged. Her astonishing run of late-'60s hits with Atlantic Records—"Respect," "I Never Loved a Man," "Chain of Fools," "Baby I Love You," "I Say a Little Prayer," "Think," "The House That Jack Built," and several others—earned her the title "Lady Soul," which she has worn uncontested ever since. Yet as much of an international institution as she's become, much of her work—outside of her recordings for Atlantic in the late '60s and early '70s—is erratic and only fitfully inspired, making discretion a necessity when collecting her records. Franklin's roots in gospel ran extremely deep

ARTICLE: RADIO

A Jazz Immuno-Booster: Part 8

Read "A Jazz Immuno-Booster: Part 8" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

The immuno-booster series is back. After all and, sadly, the pandemic is everything but over so our need for soothing and uplifting music is greater than ever. As usual, we've asked a number of prominent jazz musicians to share with our readers the music they rely for encouragement. For this instalment the selectors were ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Frances Shelley: A Place That Exists

Read "A Place That Exists" reviewed by Duncan Heining

Pianist Frances Shelley's third solo album, A Place That Exists, is an intriguing, atmospheric collection. Though she describes her approach as “neo-classical," Shelley might equally be described as an instant composer. Classically-influenced, she has for some years explored the potential for bringing that influence together with improvisation and electronics, with her musical partner Matthew Bickerton.

Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums

Read "Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun's Atlantic Records differs in one key respect from Prestige, Riverside, Impulse!, Strata-East and Flying Dutchman, the most prominent labels covered so far in this Building A Jazz Library series. Those labels' discographies consist almost exclusively of jazz. Atlantic had parallel interests in soul and rhythm-and-blues and, later, rock. This had consequences, as ...

ARTICLE: TOP TEN LIST

B.B. King: Through the Years

Read "B.B. King: Through the Years" reviewed by Alan Bryson

Sixty-six years passed from the time in 1948 when Riley King auditioned for a spot on Sonny Boy Williamson's radio program, until his final performance at the House of Blues on October 3, 2014 in Chicago. His life was a remarkable odyssey from a sharecropper's cabin to the pinnacle of success. We'll never know how many ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Free Association - Vol. 3 with John Murph

Read "Free Association - Vol. 3 with John Murph" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Free Association is a series of collaborative mix-tapes curated by Mondo Jazz in association with musicians and selectors of various origins. Free Association mix-tapes develop as a conversation. The first selector sends a tune cherry-picked to suit, and ideally surprise, the second selector who then, in turn, returns the favor. An hour or ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Dionne Warwick: Déjà Vu: The Arista Recordings (1979-1994)

Read "Déjà Vu: The Arista Recordings (1979-1994)" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

Every artist, even great ones, experiences peaks and valleys. When Dionne Warwick signed with Arista Records in 1979, she had nothing to prove, but her glory also seemed like a thing of the past. She was already a part of pop history with an unparalleled string of hits penned by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. In ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

A Jazz Immuno-Booster: Part 3

Read "A Jazz Immuno-Booster: Part 3" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

The suggestions from musicians eager to share, in these trying times, the music they turn to when they need to uplift or sooth their souls keep pouring in. Here's the third volume of this immuno-booster jazz mix-tape series, featuring a compelling mix of jazz masters, contemporary jazz guitar heroes, latin tinge, soul and new gospel.

ARTICLE: RADIO

A Jazz Immuno-Booster: Part 1

Read "A Jazz Immuno-Booster: Part 1" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

We may still be months away from developing vaccines to tame the threat that COVID19 poses to our bodies. But given the centrality of the mind-body connection for our physical well being, we should not forget that we continue to have music to support our minds during these challenging times. So I have reached ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis: Big Band Holidays II

Read "Big Band Holidays II" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Jazz at Lincoln Center Big Band Holiday concerts, featuring the JALC Orchestra with Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis and guests, are a welcome addition to New York City holiday jazz traditions. Big Band Holidays II presents the second set of live recordings from these concerts beginning from 2015, the year that the JALC Orchestra released ...


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