Last Call: Aretha Franklin, an underrated pianist

Illustration for article titled Last Call: Aretha Franklin, an underrated pianist
Photo: David Redfern (Getty Images)

Aretha Franklin on the piano

As we publish this, a number of outlets are reporting that Aretha Franklin is gravely ill and her death may be imminent. Tributes will pour in surely, but I wanted to point out that while her voice is unparalleled, her virtuosity on the piano is severely underrated. Those who knew Franklin called her “a child prodigy” on the keys, who knew how to play fully formed, lush gospel chords without being taught how to voice them. Watch her perform with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra from 2015 and be blown away. [Kevin Pang]


Vander Mill’s Apple Raspberry Cider

Illustration for article titled Last Call: Aretha Franklin, an underrated pianist

For a higher-end cider in the can, you pretty much can’t go wrong with anything from the Vander Mill lineup (own own certified beer judge, Kate Bernot, is a fan of the Totally Roasted variety). But the Michigan-based company has released an Apple Raspberry blend for the summer, and it’s deliciously palatable. Not nearly as sweet as it sounds, it’s exquisitely light, refreshing, and an easy drinker poolside. Plus it’s pink, which may make it a necessity for your next beach party. Be sure to grab a few cans of this limited release before it slips away just summer. If your favorite high-end grocer doesn’t have it available, Vander Mill’s website has a handy Cider Request Form that you can hand out. [Gwen Ihnat]

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.

Kevin Pang was the founding editor of The Takeout, and director of the documentary For Grace.