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Ultimate Nina Simone

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Album Review

On this celebrity's choice tour through the Verve archives, singer Dianne Reeves comes up with a most interesting, idiosyncratic selection of the Philips recordings of Nina Simone, intuitively sequencing the tracks herself. Reeves zeroes in on the experimental side of Simone, celebrating her differences from Tin Pan Alley-oriented singers, even equivocating a bit on the term "jazz singer" in describing her style. Reeves mostly avoids standards like the plague, opting for unusual songs like the stark a cappella "Images"; the chain-gang-styled "Be My Husband"; the hypnotic, percussion-backed "Come Ye"; and an example of Simone on piano only, "Blue on Purpose." Besides being her congenitally feisty self, Simone is also caught displaying poignant moodiness on "The Other Woman," a live remake of her hit "I Loves You, Porgy," and "Don't Explain" — all sequenced together. Any adventurous listener coming to Nina Simone for the first time through this collection will definitely be tempted to explore more of her output. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Lilac Wine

Someday this song, as sung by Nina Simone, will have its day. Her haunting voice coupled with the haunting lyrics are compelling and unforgettable. If you listen to this cut of Lilac Wine, I guarantee, you'll never forget it.


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 music, with passion, emotional honesty, and a strong grasp of technique as the constants of her musical career. Nina Simone was born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in Tryon,...
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