Nina Simone Debs Real Talent

Bob Rolontoz 20 July 1959

A young pianist-singer named Nina Simone scored brightly on her debut last Tuesday (14) at the Village Vanguard in New York. The pert thrush, who has recently attracted attention via her current Bethlehem album (and is now cutting an LP for her new label, Colpix), has a refreshing singing style and first-rate piano technique. She is able to handle many sorts of tunes, from pop thru folk and blues, and her skill on the piano shows a classical influence. Altho her act was hampered by lengthy arrangements now and then, she won solid applause via her touching renditions of "I Love You, Porgy," and the folk item "The House of the Rising Sun" and the lullaby, "Cigarettes Will Spoil Your Life." Miss Simone is a real talent who can go far.

Kenny Burrell and his Trio, consisting of Major Holly on bass and Ben Raleigh on drums, showed off some good jazz stylings on their segment of the Vanguard bill. Burrell, now making a name for himself on jazz LP's, turned in attractive solos on standard tunes. The Burrell Trio and Buck Clark on bongos, accompanied Miss Simone on her stint.