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The Nina Simone Database

Compact Jazz
Quality compilations

Mercury 838 007-2 (1989 US)

Tracks sorted by number (sort by session or by title)
 1 [3:04] My Baby Just Cares for Me   Walter Donaldson, Gus Kahn

 2 [2:57] Feeling Good   Leslie Bricusse, Anthony Newley

 3 [3:12] He Ain't Comin' Home No More   Angelo Badalamenti, John Clifford

 4 [2:07] Brown Eyed Handsome Man   Chuck Berry

 5 [4:01] If I Should Lose You   Ralph Rainger, Leo Robin

 6 [3:29] Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair   Traditional

 7 [2:28] The Gal From Joe's   Duke Ellington, Irving Mills

 8 [4:22] Don't Explain   Arthur Herzog jr, Billie Holiday

 9 [3:25] Keeper of the Flame   Charles Derringer

 10 [2:29] Mood Indigo   Duke Ellington, Irving Mills, Barney Bigard

 11 [3:13] Tell Me More and More and Then Some   Billie Holiday

 12 [3:33] Strange Fruit   Lewis Allan, Sonny White piano and vocal only

 13 [4:02] Chilly Winds Don't Blow   H. Krasnow, B. Lovelock

 14 [2:52] I'm Going Back Home   Rudy Stevenson

 15 [2:38] I Put a Spell on You   Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Slotkin sax solo by Jerome Richardson

 16 [10:19] Sinnerman   Traditional arr. Nina Simone

Liner Notes by Max Harrison (1989)

There cannot be very many popular singers who studied the piano at the Julliard School and the Curtis Institute, yet that is how Nina Simone started. Born at Tryon, North Carolina, in 1933, she only took to singing in order to keep a nightclub job in Atlantic City. But in 1959 she won national recognition and went on to compose some 50 songs and instrumental pieces, including several biting protest songs in the 1960's. Among these were "Four women" and "Mississippi goddamn," the latter a comment on the deaths of four children in the bombing of a Sunday school in Birmingham, Alabama.

Her voice is expressively rough-edged, with elements of jazz, but more particularly of blues, gospel and soul music, and much of her appeal as a performer lies in the entirely personal amalgam that she has made of these. Another point is the wide range of her repertoire, which from the moody "Keeper of the flame" to the exuberant "I'm going back home" to the wistful "Black is the colour of my true love's hair."

Also surprising are Miss Simone's vocal treatments of pieces such as "Mood indigo" and "The gal from Joe's," which hitherto had been indelibly associated with the timbres of Duke Ellington's 1930's band. the quick tempo chosen for "Mood indigo" is particularly unexpected, and this performance is rather by way of being in a class of its own. Miss Simone's piano-playing has a prominent role in many of her interpretations, for example "my baby just cares for me," her big 1988 hit, although some of these performances, which otherwise are all from the 1960's, have more elaborate, orchestral settings.
Compact Jazz: Nina Simone - Nina Simone