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. The Queen in Waiting is Aretha Franklin's 2002 compilation album featuring popular tracks "God Bless the Child", "Skylark", "Only the Lonely" and "Try a Little Tenderness". The album includes Aretha's last Columbia recordings produced by Bob Johnston, noted for his work during this period with Bob Dylan; and songs that Columbia "sweetened" with new musicians after Aretha left the label.
Cuban born pianist Alfredo Rodrguez literally lived his music while in his native land. Coming to the United States has given Rodriguez a new perspective and a second chance at creativity that few artists are smart enough to embrace on the first go-round. The Invasion Parade celebrates different styles of Cuban music seldom recorded in the United States along with a wonderful lineup of musicians including a nice cameo from Esperanza Spalding.
After prison, after first shocking, then disappointing, and perhaps ultimately (and grimly) amusing the jazz world with enough dope-related hijinks to fill a book (as in Straight Life), alto saxist Art Pepper made a triumphant mid-1970s comeback. This 1979 session is rich with the fruits of Pepper's return, a depth of playing that shows itself constantly throughout the New York Album's five tunes.