Plucking standout material from Nina Simone’s Philips albums of 1964-67, this 1969 LP paints a portrait of one of America’s most searingly original and unclassifiable talents. Simone had an effortless fluency in jazz and blues, show tunes, and modern pop/rock, a classically inflected yet indelibly soulful piano style, and an emotionally wrenching and dynamically varied voice that Hal Mooney’s arrangements and production captured especially well. Oddly, there’s nothing here from High Priestess of Soul, but Simone’s six other Philips releases are well represented. The theatrical sing-speak of “Pirate Jenny,” the radical protest of “Mississippi Goddam,” the extended jam breakdown of “Sinnerman,” the chilling narrative crescendo of “Four Women”: There’s a singularly expressive quality in these immortal performances.
I Loves You Porgy (Live at Carnegie Hall, New York, 1964)
Mississippi Goddam (Live at Carnegie Hall, New York, 1964)
The Other Woman (Live in New York, 1964)
Sinnerman (Live in New York, 1965)
Ne Me Quitte Pas
I Put a Spell on You
Break Down and Let It All Out
Wild Is the Wind (Live)
Pirate Jenny (Live at Carnegie Hall, New York, 1964)
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
12 SONGS, 53 MINUTES
AUGUST 10, 2018
A VERVE LABEL GROUP RELEASE; THIS COMPILATION ℗ 1969 UMG RECORDINGS, INC.