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Verve Jazz Masters, Vol. 17: Nina Simone

Nina Simone

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Album Review

Nina Simone's inclusion in Verve's Jazz Masters series is a bit suspect; there was a lot of jazz in Simone, true, but wasn't there quite a bit of pop and soul as well, not to mention some blues? Anyway, this is an excellent survey of her mid-'60s work, with 16 tracks spanning 1964 to 1966 that find Simone at her most versatile and assured. Quite a range is encompassed here: traditional folk ("Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair"), R&B (her jazzy rendition of "I Put a Spell on You"), Jacques Brel ("Ne Me Quitte Pas"), Billie Holiday ("Strange Fruit"), the Gershwins ("I Loves You, Porgy"), Rodgers & Hart ("Little Girl Blue"), and modern jazz (Nat Adderley's "Work Song"). Other highlights are the mesmerizing "See Line Woman" and the original version of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," which was a hit for the Animals shortly afterwards. On the two original compositions, "Four Women" and "Mississippi Goddam," Simone confronts racism in a head-on fashion rare for the time. Discographical details: the version of "Little Girl Blue" is a mono alternate take, and the recording of "My Baby Just Cares for Me" is not from the mid-'60s, but a 1987 live album.

Customer Reviews


Someone at ITunes pasted the "official review" for this album in on a Monday or Friday because it's actually for "Verve Jazz Masters 58: Nina Simone" which in itself is a fine showcase of Ms.Simone's work. This collection is no less fine containing some of her most recognizable classic covers such as Work Song, I Put A Spell On You, and Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood. Nina Simone's heartache-ing beautiful vocals are incomparable in style to other female jazz singers so it does almost no good to tell you that Bessie Smith's "I Loves You, Porgy" and Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" are covers because when Nina sings a song, whomever's song it was, it becomes Nina's.

The review is for wild is the wind the song

I can't review the entire album because i haven't listened to it. However the song wild is the wind number 9 is simply amazing it's sooo calming but also for me kind of sad. perhaps because i heard it on kinky boots during a sad scene. anyways amazing vocals in it you should listen to it!

she sings Wild is the Wind as

if it was a prayer from heaven. It is such a beautiful cantorial vocal. This album is the best for Nina's mastery of the mystery of her voice!


Born: February 21, 1933 in Tryon, NC

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Nina Simone was one of the most gifted vocalists of her generation, and also one of the most eclectic. Simone was a singer, pianist, and songwriter who bent genres to her will rather than allowing herself to be confined by their boundaries; her work swung back and forth between jazz, blues, soul, classical, R&B, pop, gospel, and world...
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