Pastel Blues [Remastered]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Released in 1965, Pastel Blues was one of Nina Simone's better titles for Philips. Issued as part of the fine Verve Originals series, the album has been completely and painstakingly remastered by Jeff Willens. While recording for Philips, Simone was -- as were most singers of the era -- surrounded by crowded studio production. She shed most of it, though, on this set. Evidence is in the opening cut: "Be My Husband" co-written with her then-husband, Andy Stroud is nearly an a cappella performance. Simone, singing in a classic field chant blues style, is accompanied only by Bobby Hamilton's hi-hat drenched in reverb. Simone's piano, thankfully, is front and center. She is a ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Released in 1965, Pastel Blues was one of Nina Simone's better titles for Philips. Issued as part of the fine Verve Originals series, the album has been completely and painstakingly remastered by Jeff Willens. While recording for Philips, Simone was -- as were most singers of the era -- surrounded by crowded studio production. She shed most of it, though, on this set. Evidence is in the opening cut: "Be My Husband" co-written with her then-husband, Andy Stroud is nearly an a cappella performance. Simone, singing in a classic field chant blues style, is accompanied only by Bobby Hamilton's hi-hat drenched in reverb. Simone's piano, thankfully, is front and center. She is a fine stylist, and the strange mix that pushes the piano to the same level as her voice is arresting. Other tracks that make this a keeper include her wonderful reading of "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out," her jazz-gospel version of "Trouble in Mind," and the striking New Orleans blues-styled barrelhouse piano she plays on "Chilly Winds Don't Blow." Her piano is font and center in "Ain't No Use," written by her guitarist, Rudy Stevenson. There is also her excellent cover of Lewis Allan's "Strange Fruit," which is very different in approach from Billie Holiday's version. The set ends with the traditional gospel tune "Sinnerman," which is frenetic, skittering, and full of fury. It's over ten minutes long and it never loses its urgent stride. The band comes in with a vengeance and the tension becomes nearly unbearable until the track explodes with a chorus of male backing singers chanting back to Simone, pushing the tune into the red. There are instrumental solos in the center, though the tautness of the track never loses its power. It is a finish that is utterly dramatic and even stunning.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/14/2006
  • Label: Verve
  • UPC: 602498887004
  • Catalog Number: 000600902
  • Sales rank: 60,109

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Nina Simone Primary Artist, Piano, Vocals
Al Schackman Guitar, Harmonica
Rudy Stevenson Flute, Guitar
Lisle Atkinson Bass, Upright Bass
Bobby Hamilton Drums
Technical Credits
Nina Simone Arranger
Hal Mooney Producer, Audio Production
Richard M. Jones Composer
Billie Holiday Composer
Rudy Stevenson Composer
Hollis King Art Direction
Maurice Seymour Cover Photo
Andy Stroud Composer
Jeff Willens Mastering
L. Allen Composer
Bryan Koniarz Producer
Traditional Composer
Ken Druker Executive Producer
William Lovelock Composer
John Edmondson Composer
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