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The Nina Simone Database

The Second Album
Collective compilation

Palace 802 (1964 US)

Collective compilation. Two tracks by Nina plus eight tracks by "Sassy" June Bugg & Howie David Guitar.
Tracks sorted by number (sort by session or by title)
 1 [3:27] Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair   Traditional

 2 [3:20] Love Me or Leave Me   Walter Donaldson, Gus Kahn

Liner notes
Webster has dozens of descriptive adjectives and superlatives that apply to the art of singing--most of them roll off the tongue naturally when one speaks of Nina Simone. Successful vocalists everywhere have mastered the techniques of singing, but Nina transcends technique and makes it glow with a sensitivity that comes from the soul, and a musical heritage that spans generations.

This phenomenal young woman displays a range of accomplishments that stagger the imagination. Her singing covers a wide range of idioms--folk, jazz, torch, folk blues and sacred. Her musicianship is exemplified in her talents for arranging, composing and technical skill as a classical pianist. These are abilities that would make any tyro performer turn green with envy, and she does all of them well.

On the evening of May 12, 1963, Nina Simone gave a concert at Carnegie Hall, a highlight in her young life that was the culmination of years of hard work and devoted study. Nina's preparation for this debut began in Tryon, North Carolina when she was only four years old and sat ad a piano for the first time. In the years that followed, she studied voice and piano and was an artful jazz pianist by the time she was seventeen. Nina went to Philadelphia after completing high school and continued to progress in all phases of her art. She taught piano for a while and then went on to study at Juilliard for two years.

Nina Simone is quick to admit her inspiration came from Marian Anderson and that there are obvious parallels in their attitudes toward music. Her heritage was the Negro blues spiritual which has been the starting point for most of America's top Negro vocalists. Her easy handling of ballads, folk tunes, torch songs and jazz blues are all natural extensions of the Southern blues, and to each of them she gives her utmost in feelings and sensitivity.

On this album you are privileged to hear Nina's classic rendition of Gershwin's "Porgy", which the musical world has come to recognize as Nina's own. Her other offering is the lyrical oldie "Love Me Or Leave Me", a poignant expression of her mastery of the blues. Nina is accompanied by the Village Allstars a musical aggregation which boasts some of the top jazz names in America, names that cannot be mentioned because of contractual commitments with higher priced labels. Here is a dynamic performer delivering soul-searching performances, the kind that stay with you a long time.

[Note: These liner notes are the same as those of Sings Porgy and in the last paragraphs quote (incorrectly) the songs on that record.]