Aretha Franklin could sing the menu from your local Chinese takeaway and it would still be brilliant. This collection comprises 18 recordings from the 60s, interpretations of compositions by Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer, George and Ira Gershwin, and Irving Berlin to mention a few.
Sounding very young (she was in her twenties when these were recorded) with her vocals strong and expressive. Some of the songs have Jazzy arrangements (the bouncy "Love For Sale", the horn-driven "What A Diff'rence A Day Made"), some string-swathed Soul ("My Little Brown Book", "Try A Little Tenderness", the Gospel-tinged "Cold Cold Heart", the piano-sprinkled "God Bless The Child"), bouncy Jazz/Soul ("Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody"), and Gospel ("Are You Sure"). Her vocals are top notch, but special mention must be made of her fiery performance in "That Lucky Old Sun".
Die-hard fans will probably already own these tracks (from the various albums they were culled). For others like me, this is a superb overview of some of Ms Franklin's overlooked gems.