Hear the reigning queen of cool jazz croon her way through 11 of her best tunes on this greatest hits collection.
Few vocalists can muster the power and sass of Etta James when she's rocking the mike on classic R&B tunes like "Tell Mama" or "Something's Got a Hold on Me." But James also had a way with a ballad, and her sensitive readings of songs such as "At Last" and "All I Could Do Was Cry" made her a fan favorite in the early '60s. Had she not been sidelined for a while by an addiction to heroin, today we might think of James, not Aretha
, as the Queen of Soul. Because this set offers only 11 cuts, it's generally inferior to Her Best: The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection
, which boasts 20 tunes. Still, it's a satisfying intro to the delightful "Miss Peaches" nonetheless. --Daniel Durchholz