Nina Simone in Concert

Nina Simone in Concert

by Nina Simone


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Nina Simone in Concert

As part of the Verve Originals series, this remastered version of Nina Simone's classic live recording from 1964 showcases the singer during her Philips period, backed only by a small jazz quartet. Simone played piano and arranged all the material; she was supported by drummer Bob Hamilton, guitarist Rudy Stevenson, and Lisle Atkinson on bass. The original-CD issue of this set was paired with I Put a Spell on You, which made sense because this album is only 35-minutes long. However, what this reissue loses in quantity it more than makes up for in quality of sound. The remastering job by Jeff Willens is artful, and brings out all the nuances of the rooms she sang in -- Nina Simone in Concert was assembled form three different shows in New York City in March and April of 1964. This is important because Simone was very aware of her atmosphere when she performed. Also, the new mastering job brings out the complete strangeness in Stevenson's guitar playing, which was utterly out-there on most of this disc -- check "Plain Golden Ring," where he plucks dissonant chords from the Delta blues tradition added to the chant-like piano. The program here is wonderful. Much if it comes from the heat of the civil rights era -- it seems weird to write that the struggle for equal rights for minorities was an era, as in past tense, but that's America in 2006 -- "Mississippi Goddam" and "Old Jim Crow" convey the sense of outrage, righteousness, and pain that deeply affected the singer. Her own "Go Limp" is simply reflected though her utterly intense depiction of a dialogue between a mother and daughter about marching with the NAACP and the conflicting emotions between generations. Her reading of "I Loves You Porgy" from Gershwin's Porgy and Bess is her definitive one. Also, Simone's version of the Bertolt Brecht-Kurt Weill-penned "Pirate Jenny" is pure dramatic joy. Willard Robison's "Don't Smoke in Bed," was never performed better than it was here by anyone. Period. This album is a classic. It is as great an introduction as one is likely to get anywhere, and for the price, it's unbeatable.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/14/2006
Label: Verve
UPC: 0602498886977
catalogNumber: 000600702

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Nina Simone   Primary Artist,Piano,Vocals
Rudy Stevenson   Guitar
Lisle Atkinson   Bass,Upright Bass
Bobby Hamilton   Drums

Technical Credits

Marc Blitzstein   Composer
George Gershwin   Composer
Kurt Weill   Composer
Nina Simone   Arranger,Composer
Mort Shuman   Cover Photo
Hal Mooney   Producer,Audio Production
Bertolt Brecht   Composer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Nat Shapiro   Liner Notes
Hollis King   Art Direction
DuBose Heyward   Composer
Willard Robison   Composer
Jackie Alper   Composer
Alex Comfort   Composer
Bryan Koniarz   Producer
Ken Druker   Executive Producer

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