Grammyr award-winning recording artist, Queen Latifah, debuts on Verve Records with her new album Trav'lin' Light. On this jazz and R&B influenced album from legendary producers Tommy LiPuma and Ron Fair,Queen Latifah delivers sultry yet powerful performances on a hand-picked mix of familiar classics and forgotten jewels.
With Trav'lin' Light
, singer/actress/rapper/Cover Girl Queen Latifah (née Dana Owens) continues her chameleonic pan-stardom. The latest musical chapter in Latifah's success-studded career began with 2004's The Dana Owens Album
, on which she emerged as a nuanced crooner of jazz and R&B standards. She continues this mode on her Verve records debut, adding ample individuality to such well-loved classics as Johnny Mercer's title track, Nina Simone's "I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl," and Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars" (with legendary harmonica pioneer Toots Thielemans). Steve Wonder's own harmonica playing lends nostalgic ornament to an otherwise rather forced "Georgia Rose," and much of the album languishes in similarly downbeat fare, though Latifah's voice is never wholly unbecoming of her song choices. Toward the album's end comes a welcome swerve for the energetic. Inspiring takes on the Pointer Sisters' "How Long" and Curtis Mayfield's "Gone Away" lead into the soaring choruses of "I Know Where I've Been." Taken together, these three songs superbly straddle the spectrum from the former rapper to the still-newly minted singer with a long lease on success and a peerless sense of how to grow older gracefully. --Jason Kirk