Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Nina Simone

Although Nina Simone enjoyed great popularity during her life, recording over 40 albums and performing around the world, her fame had begun to ebb by the time of her death in 2003. Her recordings continue to be reissued, though, and have reached an audience too young to have heard her in the 1950s and 1960s. Loved by her fans, she is still less than a household name today, so it is surprising to learn that the one recording owned by the library, Nina Simone Anthology : The Colpix Years, has been borrowed 101 times. To that popular collection of her earlier recordings, the library recently added another two-cd set titled simply, Anthology. These recordings represent Simone's work up through the 1960s and even early 1970s. The singer continues to blend blues, soul, standards, jazz, and Broadway tunes, bringing to each her understated but powerful sound. Pop songs like "The Glory of Love" and "To Love Somebody" show what she can do with a hit of the period, while "My Baby Just Cares For Me" shows her skill with more classic pop. Of particular interest are some of the later recordings. Her versions of Bob Dylan's "Just Like A Woman" and Sandy Denny's "Who Knows where The Time Goes" are reason enough to listen to this wonderful recording, with the added bonus of some beautifully expressed soul and jazz.

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