Aretha Franklin does what she wants these days — the Queen of Soul sounds as comfortable with a James Moody jazz piece as a Puccini aria, and her voice still has the ability to steamroll over any objections. With a recent health scare out of the way, Franklin seems intent on proving how much power she still possesses. You can't expect neat edges from such an intuitive songwriter and interpreter, but Franklin's protean nature has always co-existed with a grounding in the basics of gospel, jazz and blues. Now 69 years old, Franklin has recorded some solid work over the last decade, and her concert appearances give her a chance to explore her vast songbook. So celebrate a great American original, and if you need help in making sense of her vast catalog, I suggest beginning with 1970's Spirit in the Dark — her most perfectly judged recording.