Aretha Franklin

Unforgettable: A Tribute to Dinah Washington

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Since her youth Franklin had admired Dinah Washington, and it's a safe bet that the level of emotional commitment Washington brought to her work was a major influence on the blossoming style of Aretha, not to mention Washington's effortless sense of swing. Shortly before she died, Washington took appreciate notice of her acolyte as well. So Aretha's tribute to Washington is as logical as it is satisfying. Recorded when Aretha was just 21, UNFORGETTABLE is somewhat of a departure from her more R&B-oriented early work. However, the string arrangements of Johnny Mersey adn the jazzy bass work of George Duvivier mesh perfectly with Franklin's high-flying vocal fireworks. From the slow, subtle caress of "What a Difference a Day Made" to the organ-led blues of "Nobody Knows the Way I Feel This Morning," the young Aretha is in total command of the material here, simultaneously paying homage to and progressing from the influence of Washington.

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