Soul

The Complete Releases 1956-62 (CD)

Aretha Franklin's position as "The Queen Of Soul" was cemented by her landmark 1967 pop and R&B No. 1 "Respect." However, her career as a recording artist was a decade old by that time, having honed her style and singing gospel, jazz, and blues-influenced material in her late teens. This 48-track collection brings together all of her recordings which were released between 1956-1962, by which time she had established a reputation as a distinctive, soulful, and dynamic performer and had made early inroads in both the R&B and pop charts. It comprises her debut recordings as a gospel artist on the 10" LP Songs Of Faith, for Joe Von Battle's JVB label, made when she was just 14 years old, and then all her singles for Columbia, most of which came from her three albums for the label, Aretha Franklin With The Ray Bryant Combo, The Electrifying Aretha Franklin, and The Tender, The Moving, The Swinging Aretha Franklin, the complete content of which is also included, along with a track from a multi-artist Christmas compilation. It's a thorough showcase for her talent and style in the early years of her career.

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Aloha (CD)

Son Little (songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Aaron Livingston) plays nearly every instrument on Aloha himself, but he put the songs in the hands of French studio wizard Renaud Letang (Feist, Manu Chao) to create his boldest, most self-assured statement yet. Equal parts vintage and modern, the collection blends classic soul, old-school R&B, and adventurous indie sensibilities into a timeless swirl fueled by gritty instrumental virtuosity and raw, raspy vocals. It's an ambitious work of vision and reflection.

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The Mirror (CD)

Singer/songwriter and guitarist Raul Midón breaks new ground on his 11th studio album with exciting new teams-ups (vibraphonist Joe Locke, pianist Gerald Clayton), two spoken-word pieces in the tradition of Gil Scott-Heron, and many other surprises. Midon’s signature flowing electric guitar and lyrical sophistication tie The Mirror together into one cohesive and personal vision, as does his painstaking production.

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Ventura (CD)

Anderson .Paak’s star continues to rise on his excellent new LP, Ventura. Joined by a whole galaxy of top tier talent, .Paak delivers a non-stop mix of soulful, funky future hits. Along for the ride are Andre 3000, Smokey Robinson, Lalah Hathaway, Jazmine Sullivan, Sonyae Elise, Brandy, and the late Nate Dogg. Executive produced by the legendary Dr. Dre, this is an album you already know is reaching future classic status. Essential listening for true soul and hip-hop heads.

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Step Up (CD)

Bay Area horn section/funk collective Tower of Power forges on into the next decade of the 21st century on Step Up. Recorded during the same sessions that produced 2018's Soul Side of Town, Step Up features some new talent, including the phenomenal young lead vocalist, Marcus Scott, who replaced TOP’s longtime lead singer, Ray Greene. 

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