239

Kim Nalley: She Put a Spell On Me

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Kim Nalley: She Put a Spell On Me With this tribute to the life and career of Nina Simone, San Francisco-based singer Kim Nalley fills the room with expressed emotion. Recorded live at Pearl's, She Put a Spell On Me jumps with the rhythms and melodies that captured our hearts during Simone's lifetime. The pianist, folk singer, protest singer and jazz singer, known to us as the High Priestess of Soul, left an indelible mark. Simone deserves hundreds of tributes like this one.

Nalley and her band do it their own way. Piano and guitar play an important role in the music as the singer puts her audience at ease with songs that Nina Simone interpreted so effectively. Gospel and spirituals play a large part in the album's makeup. "Trouble in Mind simmers with a Deep South awareness. "In the Evening by the Moonlight speaks of reverence and compassion. "I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free, the high point of the album, finds the singer riding high on spirit and strong on emotion.

Guitarist Greg Skaff contributes cohesive counterpoint and dashing solo work, while pianist Tammy Hall does the same from a different viewpoint. Hall, in particular, finds the key to the gospel tradition in Simone's music and brings that quality forward.

Trumpeter Allen Smith, who joins the band for "You Can Have Him, provides a frail instrumental voice that contrasts sharply with Nalley's powerful performance. While the singer injects considerable emotion into this live session, it remains uneven in spots. Her more forceful interpretations, such as "I Put a Spell on You, achieve great success in revealing the heart and soul of Nina Simone, while several other tracks move mechanically, with a tired demeanor.

Track Listing: My Baby Just Cares for Me; In the Evening by the Moonlight; See-Line Woman; You Can Have Him; I Put a Spell On You; House of the Rising Sun; Trouble in Mind; Mississippi Goddamn; I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to be Free; Extro.

Personnel: Kim Nalley: vocals; Greg Skaff: guitar; Allen Smith: trumpet; Tammy Hall: piano; Michael Zisman: bass; Kent Bryson: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: CE Jazz & Blues/City Hall Records | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read In the Still of the Night CD/LP/Track Review In the Still of the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Zea CD/LP/Track Review Zea
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Asian Fields Variations CD/LP/Track Review Asian Fields Variations
by John Kelman
Published: May 21, 2017
Read Left Right Left CD/LP/Track Review Left Right Left
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Evergreen (Canceled World)" CD/LP/Track Review Evergreen (Canceled World)
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 4, 2017
Read "Hand In Hand In The Hand Of The Moon" CD/LP/Track Review Hand In Hand In The Hand Of The Moon
by Budd Kopman
Published: May 24, 2016
Read "Freedom is a State of Mind" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom is a State of Mind
by Dave Wayne
Published: June 27, 2016
Read "Luma" CD/LP/Track Review Luma
by Geannine Reid
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "It Will Come" CD/LP/Track Review It Will Come
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 16, 2017
Read "Poetry For The Beat Generation" CD/LP/Track Review Poetry For The Beat Generation
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: December 11, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.