Sunday, February 28, 2010

Detroit's Own Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin Launching New CD

Aretha Franklin says new CD has 'a lot of love in it'


Friends and family of Aretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul, got an early taste of her upcoming CD during a listening party Friday at The Detroit Fish Market. The 12-track CD, titled "A Woman Falling Out of Love," is expected to drop the last weekend in March.

On Friday, Franklin said her newest work had a "lot of love in it.

"You fall in love, you fall out of love. These are some of the things that women go though," she said. "You think you want something you get it, and then you decide it is not what you wanted after all."

Franklin said her upcoming CD will feature a range of styles from funky blues to jazz to a sizzling recitation by actor Billy Dee Williams.

At the Fish Market, as pianist Darryl Houston played show tunes and standards softly, Franklin’s guests soaked in the ambience which resembled and early spring, English garden. The tables were draped with pink cloths, and each was adorned by a vessel of pink tulips and blue hydrangeas.

Executive chef Jerry Nottage said that for the menu, Franklin requested an English buffet of classic tea sandwiches. He obliged with sandwiches of fresh cucumber, smoked salmon and capers, curried chicken with mango sauce and toasted almonds, and traditional egg salad with prosciutto. The spread also includes fresh fruit, an assortment of desserts, and scones with Devonshire cream.

In addition to the Queen herself, notable guests at the listening party included Detroit City Councilwoman JoAnn Watson, Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence, radio personality John Mason, Judge Damon Keith and singer Orthea Barnes and Millie Scott, who sings background for Franklin.

February 27, 2010

Aretha's in charge on new CD

The Queen of Soul hosts event to preview latest album

The Detroit News

Aretha Franklin hosted a high tea on Friday at the Detroit Fish Market, where she previewed six songs from her forthcoming album, "A Woman Falling out of Love," due out in late March.

"I love the entire album, all of it," a relaxed Queen of Soul said of the mixed bag of blues, gospel and pop. Some of the songs were inspired by her own relationships.

"Part of it started with the relationship I was in at the time, one thing just led to another and before you knew it, it became 'Aretha, a woman falling out of love,' " she said, smiling. "You don't always want what you think you want."

Dressed in a black top over a silvery skirt and matching silver bag, Franklin greeted guests including Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh, former Temptation Ali "Ollie" Woodson, Councilwoman JoAnn Watson and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Damon Keith.

"I've never heard her voice sound better," said WGPR-FM (107.5) air personality John Mason. "This isn't a Christmas album; this is the real deal."

Several family members were there, including two of Franklin's sons who worked on the album: Eddie Franklin, who sings the gospel song "His Eye is On The Sparrow," and her youngest son Kecalf, 39, who wrote the song "New Day," and, with his production company Eradescent, produced it.

It was "an honor" to have his mother sing his song, Kecalf said. "It's inspirational, about a new day, a new start."

Another notable cut is her bluesy cover version of an old B.B. King song, "Sweet 16."

"I'm in charge for the first time," said Franklin. The album, on Aretha's Records, will be carried by the QVC shopping network.

It is her first studio album since 2003's "So Damn Happy," and she wrote several of the songs.

One she didn't write, "A Summer Place," is from the 1959 Troy Donahue/Sandra Dee movie she loved. She sings the vocal version, recorded at the time by Andy Williams and the Lettermen, and Billy Dee Williams does a recitation she calls "sizzling, it's about to jump off the record he's so hot. Women are going to love this! I don't know who he's speaking to but I was saying 'Right! Come on with it!' "

Franklin doesn't begrudge that young artists today have "American Idol."

"That's where things are today. When I got into the business they didn't have videos, and I felt that was kind of unfair to artists of my generation, but that's the way it was. Now you have 'American Idol.' You can be an overnight sensation, for real.""> (313) 222-2156

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