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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Nina Simone- Sings the Blues

I suppose Nina Simone's career can largely be divided into four periods based on the record labels she was working with: 1) Colpix Records, 2) Phillips, 3) RCA, and 4) retirement... This album catches Nina Simone as she's ending phase 2 and I believe is her first record on RCA..a lot of her Phillips recordings I think featured her with big orchestral productions/awash in strings etc while her RCA recordings it seems to me feature her performing- generally- a larger share of more contemporary material (i.e., Bob Dylan) with smaller jazz combos.. "Nina Simone Sings the Blues" on RCA LSP-3789 from 1967 (german LP issue) surrounds her with some of the more talented session musicians of the day: Eric Gale (guitar), Bernard "Pretty" Purdie (drums), etc. and the material be it Nina Simone songs or standards is top notch with Nina Simone's presentation as uncompromising and true to the bone as always... whet.One of the things about Nina is that when she sings you really believe her whether its political or sexual and I think while she's always been hard to pigeonhole and categorize she may just be the last of that great line of singers that began with Bessie Smith and went through Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington..."Nina Simone Sings the Blues" features "Buck" and "I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl" which are both favorites of mine..On this LP you can really hear Nina's fine piano work...$1

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