Nina Simone Essentials

Nina Simone Essentials

An activist and an innovator, this North Carolina-born singer/songwriter and pianist was one of the most fearless figures in jazz history. With her perfect pitch and a deep, regal voice rooted in the blues and gospel, Simone immediately stood out when she made her debut in the early '50s. Radicalized by the civil rights movement of the '60s, her songs became increasingly political. In later years, she embraced funk and traditional African music. Her passion and capacity for invention rarely dimmed until her death in 2003, and that intensity inspired punk bands and rappers as often as soul stars and lyricists.

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