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Simply Nina: A look back at the illustrious career of jazz legend Nina Simone

Read "Simply Nina: A look back at the illustrious career of jazz legend Nina Simone" reviewed by Ava Louise

It is fitting that after a month dedicated to Jazz Appreciation, we come to the work of Nina Simone. Arguably one of the most talented jazz artists, Nina garners high praise across many demographics. What made her such an influential musician and vocalist? Her voice was deep with a richness and emotive intensity that made her singing unforgettable. She played and sang with an intensity that was and is unmatched. There was an explosiveness of emotion that was ...


The Politics of Dancing: Jazz and Protest, Part 1

Read "The Politics of Dancing: Jazz and Protest, Part 1" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

In 1964, Civil Rights workers, known as Freedom Riders, were increasingly becoming the victims of violent attacks from the Ku Klux Klan as they initiated a program to register black voters in the Deep South. As members of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the advocates were franticly racing against time in an effort to send representatives to the 1964 Democratic National Convention to push the party agenda toward a Voter's Rights Act. ...


Montreux Through The Decades: Blues, Soul & Funk Recordings, Part 1

Read "Montreux Through The Decades: Blues, Soul & Funk Recordings, Part 1" reviewed by Ian Patterson

As part of All About Jazz' tribute to Montreux Jazz Festival, which is celebrating its 50th edition in 2016, and to its founder, the late Claude Nobs, this second batch of live recordings features ten memorable blues, soul and funk concerts captured between 1973 and 2004. The first batch featured ten jazz recordings from concerts between 1968 and 2012, while a third batch will feature rock, folk and pop recordings. Albert King Blues at Sunrise: ...


What Happened, Miss Simone?: A Biography

Read "What Happened, Miss Simone?: A Biography" reviewed by Nenad Georgievski

What Happened, Miss Simone? Alan Light 320 Pages ISBN: 1101904879 Atria 2016 It was singer and poet Gil Scott-Heron who said that Nina Simone was black way before it was fashionable to be black. A controversial and indisputable music icon and celebrity, her unique blend of jazz, pop and soul made her one of the most compelling voices in music history. She was equally known for her interpretations of other people's songs, that ...


Jazz Icons Series 3: Nina Simone Live in '65 and '68

Read "Jazz Icons Series 3: Nina Simone Live in '65 and '68" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Nina SimoneJazz Icons Series 3: Live in '65 and '68 Jazz Icons 2008

Savage Dignity. Nina Simone is singular among jazz musicians. She had a vocal delivery that was more Charlie Patton than, say, Shirley Horn. Her cover of Bob Dylan's “The Ballad of Hollis Brown," presented on Jazz Icons Series 3: Nina Simone Live in '65 and '68, is a microcosm of Simone's performance style: kinetic, forceful, and emotionally intense to ...


Nina Simone: To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story

Read "To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story" reviewed by Tom Greenland

There was only one Nina Simone, an original and highly imaginative artist whose style embodied a wide range of influences from musical Americana and beyond. To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story (three CDs and a DVD) is a fine boxed set overview of her career, emphasizing the live performances where she was most in her element. Culling material from her Bethlehem, Colpix, Philips, RCA, PM, CTI and Elektra recordings, To Be Free is the most comprehensive and wide-ranging of ...


Nina Simone: High Priestess of Soul

Read "Nina Simone: High Priestess of Soul" reviewed by Shannon J. Effinger

“I insist on being not one of your clowns, but one of you," she commands of her French audience early on in her performance. When Nina Simone walks out onto the stage, the first word that comes to mind is: regal. “I am a queen," she proudly announces. Her black wrap dress is simple and minimalist. Her silver necklace, a gift from a man who lives in Greece, is modest and beautiful--she pulls attention towards it on more than one ...


Nina Simone: Remixed & Reimagined

Read "Remixed & Reimagined" reviewed by Jim Santella

Mixing any recording can be an adventure. Most popular dance club music varies greatly from what the individual artist laid down. With nearly all recorded music, however, the featured artist has an opportunity to listen to and approve the final mix. The objective is to make the artist sound his or her very best. Through a lot of hard work, this usually works out fine.

This Legacy release of Nina Simone's work keeps her voice and her music ...


Nina Simone: From Cathouse Blues to Mississippi Goddam

Read "Nina Simone: From Cathouse Blues to Mississippi Goddam" reviewed by Andrew Velez

Four fine albums, covering the mid 1960s through 1980, which hopefully will introduce a new generation to the high priestess of soul, Nina Simone, and the great dark beauty of her music. Simone's existing devotees won't need any prompting.

Nina Simone The Soul Of Nina Simone RCA/Legacy 2005

The Soul Of Nina Simone is drawn mostly from the mid to late 1960s, when Simone's emotionally charged performances were often ...


Nina Simone Speaks Like a River

Read "Nina Simone Speaks Like a River" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

“Anything human can be felt through music, which means that there is no limit to the creating that can be done with music. It's infinite. It's like God, you know?"

~ Nina Simone, DownBeat interview, 1969  

With the January 17 unveiling of several titles from her back catalog, re-mastered and re-annotated and supplemented with bonus tracks, plus The Soul of Nina Simone CD / DVD dual disc released this past September, the music industry may ...


Nina Simone: Silk and Soul

Read "Silk and Soul" reviewed by Jim Santella

Originally released in 1967 as an LP, Silk and Soul followed Nina Simone's blues album by combining pop songs with soulful musical statements that included strong threads from gospel and blues. Two bonus tracks are included, both originally released as singles in '69.

Pianist Billy Taylor wrote one of the keystone selections for this album, “I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free. It's a spiritual piece that opens the door for Simone's crusade against ...


Nina Simone: Forever Young, Gifted and Black: Songs of Freedom & Spirit

Read "Forever Young, Gifted and Black: Songs of Freedom & Spirit" reviewed by Jim Santella

While this compilation combines Nina Simone's mastery of the blues and soul singing, its emphasis remains on what she said. As an active participant in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, she wrote songs and interpreted those of others--songs that helped to raise an awareness of our social ills. We need her music as much today as we did then. Several previously unreleased versions of her classic songs appear on Forever Young, Gifted and Black.

The thirteen-minute ...

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