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Compact Jazz: Nina Simone

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Album Review

When Nina Simone was in her prime as the premier African-American singer/pianist in music, there's was no popular artist who was going to touch her in terms of sheer talent. This Compact Jazz collection of 16 of her songs falls short of a greatest-hits package, as it is missing some evergreens like "I Loves You, Porgy" and "I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl," among others. Still, it's a good cross section of her ballads, blues, jazz interpretations, and strong-willed protest and statement songs. Included are classics "My Baby Just Cares for Me," "Brown Eyed Handsome Man," "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair," "Mood Indigo," her eerie version of "Strange Fruit," the atypical string-laden and dour "I Put a Spell on You," and "Sinner Man." It's a pretty solid collection considering what is left out, and a very good introduction to her large and diverse discography. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Well worth ten bucks.

Simply put, Nina Simone is one of the most amazing vocalists you'll ever hear. Her skills on a piano aren't to shabby either. She started her career by playing and singing to pay for her way through Juliard... and I am very grateful. This disc is fantastic. There really isn't a single disc that has them all... but this one... from Feeling Good to Don't Explain and Tell Me More and More and Then Some to the classics Strange Fruit and I Put a Spell On You.... they are fantastic... Oh... and if you don't buy this... you won't have ANY other way to get that last track: SINNERMAN. Which is WELL WORTH the 10 minute length... awesome!

Viva la Nina

This album is truly a must-have, Nina's voice takes you on a sentimental and soultry journey that will embrace you and not let go 'till the end. I first heard "Sinner Man" in the film "The Thomas Crown Affair" and I was hooked! I researched it and I've loved her music since. :)


Until recently, I didn't even know who Nina Simone was. But here music is really great, and I suggest that if you like jazz to get this album, or at least some of the songs (which is what I did). My favorite song, I have to say, is 'Feeling Good'.


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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