Bless This House was released in 1956 and features Mahalia Jackson and the Falls-Jones Ensemble. This LP is a favorite of the gospel purists who feel alienated by Jackson's collaborations with pop artists like Percy Faith and Harpo Marx. The songs on Bless This House feature great supporting performances by pianist Mildred Falls and organist Ralph Jones. Highlights include a jazzy, swinging "Let the Church Roll On," a dark, bluesy "Trouble With the Word," and energetic versions of "Down By the Riverside" and "It Don't Cost Very Much." Bless This House includes some of Jackson's most serious offerings and reflects the influence of blues singers Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey on her vocal style. A great introduction to Jackson's joyous, religious music and a good beginning for new listeners.
"Aretha: With The Ray Bryant Combo" is the second studio album by American singer songwriter, Aretha Franklin, released on February 27, 1961 by Columbia Records. The album is Aretha's first release for Columbia, and is also known under its working title Right Now It's Aretha and sometimes simply as Aretha. Following in the footsteps of her close friend Sam Cooke, Aretha was "discovered" by famed Columbia Records producer John H. Hammond, who on the cover notes of the 1973 edition of "The Great Aretha Franklin: The First 12 Sides" mentions, that she was in fact recommended by the composer Curtis Reginald Lewis.
Considering the extraordinary talent assembled for Tony Williams' second Blue Note date as a leader, this could have been a landmark session. Unfortunately, it's not. Spring isn't totally forgettable; on the contrary, the fire expected by members of the Miles Davis Quintet (Williams, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter), all thoroughly influenced by "the new thing," were unleashed completely from Miles' tight rein. Add tenor saxophonist Sam Rivers and Albert Ayler bassist Gary Peacock into this mix and that influence thrived. However, the five Tony Williams compositions (including the drum only "Echo") often failed to provoke the musicians into reaching crucial unity, making Spring haphazard, falling short of the expected goal.
"The Electrifying Aretha Franklin" is the Queen of Soul’s sophomore album for Columbia Records. Produced by John Hammond, this intimate outing features hits including “You Made Me Love You,” “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody” and “It's So Heartbreakin'.” This 1962 classic is an outstanding representation of Franklin’s undeniable power and musicianship. This deluxe reissue version contains seven bonus tracks.
Runnin' Out of Fools is the seventh studio album by American singer Aretha Franklin. Runnin Out Of Fools is the birth of Aretha Franklin's soulful sound – a real change from the jazzier sound of her first two albums for Columbia, and a set that really shows some great sides of her talents! Arrangements are by Belford Hendricks, who creates an uptown-styled sort of sound – one that has fuller strings and a bit of backing vocals, but also a nice little groove at the bottom – territory that's somewhere between the country soul of the early 60s, and some of the tighter New York soul that was on the rise.
Aretha Franklin has simply been one of the greatest singers of the modern generation, and whether bringing her powerful, passionate voice to bear on gospel standards, songs from the Great American Songbook, jazz standards, pop ditties, or deep Southern soul and R&B, she has always had the presence -- much like Ray Charles -- to make anything she touches unmistakably hers. Franklin began her career in gospel when she was still a teenager, and her amazing vocal talents, coupled with her fine piano playing, marked her as a once-in-a-lifetime kind of artist, qualities very apparent to legendary talent scout John Hammond, who signed her to Columbia Records.