Thanks to WADE !
Aretha reaches for Gospel.
"WITH HER SOARING VOICE and sometimes fiery abandon, Aretha Franklin has had a long, variable but frequently incandescent career. She's been a queen of soul, she's sung jazz and the blues, but the basis of her style has been gospel music (...)
Gospel is at the root of many black singers' styles, from blues and soul shouters to opera divas (surely Mahalia Jackson would have been a great opera singer if she had come along after the desegregation of the operatic stage). But Miss Franklin comes by her affinities to gospel even more directly than being part of a church congregation. Her father, the late Rev. C. L. Franklin, was a longtime preacher and gospel singer in Detroit, as well as an early leader in the civil rights movement. Miss Franklin grew up in his church, and made her first recordings as a 14-year-old gospel singer on Chess Records in 1956. For ''Amazing Grace,'' she appeared at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles (...)
What distinguished Miss Franklin from other women gospel singers was, above all, the sheer power of her voice, its high belting chest register pushed into the soprano range without the operatic tonal roundness of a trained soprano extension. This is not mere technical gibberish: It defines a way of singing common to most popular vocalists in our time. But Miss Franklin did it better than almost anyone. And unlike some, she has an upper extension, but she uses it for coloration, mostly in soft singing, not for sustained high passages or surging climaxes. (...)"
John ROCKWELL, 1987, NY Times.