Today I have to offer you little more than an eye-delight. (Which is good, by the way, because I had a stressy day and don't have much force left for lengthy writing.) But what delight it is! When I saw the photo, because a photo it is that I am speaking of, it took my breath away. I've never seen it before - and it even comes in high resolution! However, the photo should be vaguely familiar to many of you:
Thank you so much! This thanks goes to the wonderful blog Jazz in Photo. Go visit it!
Well, I for my part can only add some sound to the visual experience. As many of you will have realized, the photo is similar, not identical though, to a portrait shot of Aretha Franklin which was used for the cover of her 1965 Columbia LP Yeah !!! (Columbia CS # 9151). And a yeah it is!
Rheta Hughes's Columbia LP released in November '65. We have a live setting here, with Aretha (»the swinging chick« according to the sleeve notes) playing with "her quartet" and occasionally in person at the piano. The LP arguably is among the least known albums of Aretha. Mainly, she covers standard tunes here, fault- and effortlessly as always. Man, she IS the Voice! Being live and Aretha accompanied in all songs by the same musicians, the album does inevitably lack somewhat variety of style and arrange- ment. However, as I had to single out two songs for today, my choice was not too difficult after all: »Muddy Water«, the most up-tempo song on the LP, a »true blues« with »healthy blues-shouting« (whatever that is!) according to the notes by Dan Morgenstern on the back cover. After that, you can hear »Without The One You Love« which maybe is the most emotive tune on the album and show-cases Aretha's vocal art particularly well. Again according to the back notes, the tune is »a gospel-flavored pop tune«. Well. The nice thing is that the song was penned by Aretha herself (thanks to Marie from the Catch That Train and Testify! blog for giving me the right hint), and in the version below you can hear Aretha also at the piano. For the record: the album was recorded on February 10, 1965, in New York.
Aretha Franklin: »Muddy Water« / »Without The One You Love« from the Columbia LP # CS 9151 (1965):
* * *All right, down here I can well supply the cover art of Columbia LP # 9151 in case you don't remember it: