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Trav'lin' Light

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Trav'lin' Light is Queen Latifah's second foray into the realm of jazz, soul, and blues, following 2004's Grammy-nominated The Dana Owens Album. The record explores the songbooks of Peggy Lee, Etta James, Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simone, Shirley Horn, Roberta Flack, and more. One of the tracks, "I Know Where I've Been," is from the 2007 soundtrack to Hairspray, in which Latifah costarred with John Travolta and Michelle Pfeiffer.
All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Trav'lin' Light, Queen Latifah's follow-up to her first collection of pop standards, The Dana Owens Album (2004), is, if anything, even better than that Grammy-nominated set. Contemporary ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Trav'lin' Light is Queen Latifah's second foray into the realm of jazz, soul, and blues, following 2004's Grammy-nominated The Dana Owens Album. The record explores the songbooks of Peggy Lee, Etta James, Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simone, Shirley Horn, Roberta Flack, and more. One of the tracks, "I Know Where I've Been," is from the 2007 soundtrack to Hairspray, in which Latifah costarred with John Travolta and Michelle Pfeiffer.
All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Trav'lin' Light, Queen Latifah's follow-up to her first collection of pop standards, The Dana Owens Album (2004), is, if anything, even better than that Grammy-nominated set. Contemporary performers often get into trouble when they take on music of the pre-rock era, but this one, who is by now so far removed from her origins that she probably should be referred to as a former rapper, not only has the vocal talent to carry it off, she also has put in the hard work with producers, arrangers, musicians, and (no doubt) a vocal coach to create a more-than-credible album. Previously, Queen Latifah made the jump from rapper to Oscar-nominated actress, and her acting classes also seem to have come in handy here. In song after song, she has come up with a character to portray through the lyrics, and that helps make her interpretations convincing. Sometimes, it is the songwriters themselves she seems to be channeling. "Poetry Man," the leadoff track, is not far removed from Phoebe Snow's original, although Queen Latifah wisely undersings where Snow elaborated. Similarly, on "I Love Being Here with You" and "I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl," she seems more than familiar with the originals by authors Peggy Lee and Nina Simone, and her versions are affectionate annotations on them. She probably knows the '40s song "Don't Cry Baby" through its '60s revivals by Etta James and Aretha Franklin, and without competing against those greats gives it an enthusiastic treatment. And, of course, the title song dates to a Billie Holiday recording with Paul Whiteman; Queen Latifah suggests Holiday's style without aping it. She is ably assisted by some expert studio supporters including producers Tommy LiPuma and Ron Fair and arrangers Jerry Hey and John Clayton; no expense has been spared in filling several studios with dozens of musicians, including full string and horn sections and such name soloists as Stevie Wonder (featured on harmonica on "Georgia Rose") and Joe Sample (piano on "Georgia Rose," "Trav'lin' Light," and "I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl"). A great deal of thought has gone into the song choices (executive producer Monica Lynch is thanked specifically for her suggestions), which range from the '20s all the way up to "I Know Where I've Been" from the 2007 Hairspray soundtrack. Finally, however, it is the singer herself who deserves the credit for making the album work. As with her acting, Queen Latifah's singing is most laudable for not trying to do too much; she may evoke James or Simone or Holiday (or Smokey Robinson or the Pointer Sisters), but she never tries to outsing them; rather, her versions are glosses on the greats she and her producers so admire.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/25/2007
  • Label: Verve
  • UPC: 602517365049
  • Catalog Number: 000920302
  • Sales rank: 13,509

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Queen Latifah Primary Artist
George Duke Piano, fender rhodes
Jeff Hamilton Drums
Greg Mathieson Organ, Keyboards
Joe Sample Piano
Bruce Dukov Violin
Sid Page Violin
Alex Al Bass
Rick Baptist Trumpet
Gary Bias Alto Flute, Tenor Saxophone
Charlie Bisharat Violin
Jacqueline Brand Violin
Lee Callet Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone
Mark Cargill Violin
Gilbert Castellanos Trumpet
Oscar Castro-Neves Guitar
Ronald Clark Violin
Jeff Clayton Alto Saxophone
John Clayton Conductor
Luis Conte Percussion
Larry Corbett Cello
Jim Cox Keyboards
Brian Dembow Viola
Yvette Devereaux Violin
Stephen Erdody Cello
Christine Ermacoff Cello
Keith Fiddmont Alto Saxophone
Julie Gigante Violin
John Goux Guitar
Gary Grant Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Alan Grunfeld Violin
Niki Haris Background Vocals
Jerry Hey Conductor
Dan Higgins Alto Flute, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Paul Jackson Jr. Guitar
Peter Kent Violin
Ron King Trumpet
Abraham Laboriel Sr. Bass
Michael Landau Guitar
Andy Martin Trombone
Christian McBride Bass
Robin Olson Violin
Alan Pasqua Keyboards
Joel Peskin Alto Flute, Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Katia Popov Violin
Kevin Ricard Percussion
Anatoly Rosinsky Violin
Maurice Spears Bass Trombone
Toots Thielemans Harmonica
Cecilia Tsan Cello
Josefina Vergara Violin
Fred White Background Vocals
Evan Wilson Viola
Stevie Wonder Harmonica
Gayle Levant Harp
Lamont VanHook Background Vocals
Charlie Owens Tenor Saxophone
Jim Ross Viola
Suzie Katayama Cello
Anthony Wilson Guitar
William Frank "Bill" Reichenbach Jr. Tuba, Bass Trombone
Wayne Bergeron Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Reggie C. Young Trombone
Natalie Leggett Violin
Valerie Pinkston Background Vocals
Shawn Mann Viola
Darrin McCann Viola
Sara Parkins Violin
Irina Voloshina Violin
Abe Laboriel Jr. Drums
Sarah Thornblade Violin
George Bohanon Trombone
Larry Hall Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Andrew Duckles Viola
Becky Bunnell Violin
Songa Lee Violin
James Ford Trumpet
Dan Tobin Smith Cello
Alex Iles Trombone
Victoria Miskolczy Viola
Phillip Levy Violin
Mario de León Violin
Matthew Funes Viola
Technical Credits
Nina Simone Composer
Donny Hathaway Composer
Smokey Robinson Composer
Gene Lees Composer
Jimmy Mundy Composer
Graham Gouldman Composer
June Pointer Composer
Eric Stewart Composer
Leroy Hutson Composer
Anita Pointer Composer
Trummy Young Composer
John Clayton Arranger
Manny Curtis Composer
Ron Fair Producer
Bernie Grundman Mastering
Jerry Hey Arranger
Antonio Carlos Jobim Composer
Walter Kent Composer
Tommy LiPuma Producer
Johnny Mercer Composer
Ruth Pointer Composer
David Rubinson Composer
Doug Sax Mastering
Al Schmitt Engineer
Marc Shaiman Composer, Producer
Allen Sides Engineer
Monica Lynch Executive Producer
Hollis King Art Direction
Steve Genewick Engineer, Digital Editing
Scott Wittman Composer
Robert Rogers Composer
Bill Schluger Composer
Stella Unger Composer
Tal Herzberg Engineer, Digital Editing
Bill Airey Smith Engineer
Shakim Compere Executive Producer
Sachico Asano Graphic Design
Anthony Caruso Digital Editing
"Angry" Mike Eleopoulos Engineer
Patricia Pointer Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Old songs with a new spin

    I must be hearing a different CD than the first reviewer. I LOVED "The Dana Owens Album", and had hoped Latifah would do another like it. These renditions of classic songs get better as you listen. I love a contemporary take on a song that has been done before. Shes got the pipes for this material, and I hope she records every old "and new" song she likes. I'll buy them.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    I don't think that the first reviewer fairly rated this cd. Queen Latifah is not trying to be like Dinah, Etta and whoever else. She sings these songs obviously because she loves this genre of music. With this cd and the Dana Owens cd, she is opening the minds of the youth who listen to her music and she is showing them that there are dozens of other types of music out there. I love this cd and I applaud Queen Latifah for doing something that she loves!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Queen, You Are!

    Wonderful easy listening music. She does "her" thing recapping early versions. Beautiful voice and style. Buy It! You will be overwhelmed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Listen for yourself

    Before her last CD, The Dana Owens Story, I wasn't a fan of the Queen but that CD showed me that Queen had matured in her career to expand to a more mature audience. And with this CD she has shown me that some things do improve with age. I feel as though this is a very eclectic CD ranging from jazz and big band to easy listening and the funky, Betcha Gotta Chick on the Side, and with I Know Where I've Been, which I am listening to as I am typing this she has taken my respect for her talent to a new level. I beleive that she has something here for any and everybody. As I said in my intro, "listen for yourself". peace

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    She's no Etta, Sarah, Dinah Washington, etc.

    She's no Etta, Sarah, etc. The original versions of these artists are so much better. I think she should stay with her rapping. But, listen to the music samples listed here and decide for yourself.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews