The Essential Nina Simone
Nina Simone could sing anything and make it work, and her unique mixture of passion, empowerment, liberation, and love continues to make her recorded work speak powerfully a decade or more into the 21st century. This two-disc, 29-track set collects essential sides from her entire career, including tracks done for the Colpix, Philips, RCA, CTI, and Elektra labels between 1959 and 1993. Simone was a master of nuance and phrasing, and songs collected here like 1959's "I Loves You, Porgy" and "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair," 1960's "Trouble in Mind," 1964's "See-Line Woman," her version of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell on You" from 1965, 1967's saucy "I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl," and the late-career "A Single Woman" from 1993 all give testament to this gifted and unique artist's vision, style, and elegance. It's a very impressive legacy.