Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
CTI Master Series remastered reissue of 1978 album for one of the few performers who can bridge the artistic gap between pop & jazz, funk & soul, sometimes within the confines of a single album. Such is the case with Balti... more »
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CTI Master Series remastered reissue of 1978 album for one of the few performers who can bridge the artistic gap between pop & jazz, funk & soul, sometimes within the confines of a single album. Such is the case with Baltimore, the only album she recorded for CTI, as it stands out as one of her best efforts, and a true landmark in an eclectic career. 10 tracks. 2003.
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Dp Simmonds | Sydney, Australia | 02/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Baltimore is a mellow, melancholy Nina Simone and the songs are indelible. This must be the 5th or 6th copy I've owned - the others have either worn out or been pinched. I bought it on impulse because I decided I couldn't bear another day without a copy."
Beauty in many styles
Pieter | Johannesburg | 03/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
With her mellifluous voice, Nina had the ability to transform any lyric into a moving poem. Here again she proves her worth as a highly skilled interpreter of many different styles of music: ballads, gospel, folk, pop and soul. The title track is fairly lightweight compared to what follows, like the brooding Everything Must Change. There is a funky beat to the heartbreaking The Family, a tale of tragedy and hope. My favourites include the rousing Balm in Gilead and the uplifting ballad That's All I Want From You with its simple and haunting lyrics. Her version of My Father is elegant and atmospheric, with a particularly brilliant arrangement, whilst Music For Lovers is dreamy and romantic. The album concludes with the buoyant gospel sounds of If You Pray Right. The varied material permits her unique voice to reveal more of its subtle hues. Baltimore is a gripping album of beautiful songs that will richly reward the listener.
Pieter | Johannesburg | 04/01/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This elegantly orchestrated album was recorded in Brussels in 1978. The legendary singer is supported by inter alia piano, bass, drums, guitars, violins, violas, cellos, string bass and eight backing vocalists. Her delivery is sublime as are the arrangements, four of which were done by her. Those who love Simone's voice but aren't particularly fond of jazz will probably treasure Baltimore as her most appealing recording.
Although many tracks portray impermanence or tragedy, the album never becomes oppressive or gloomy as the music's spirituality of hope inspires and uplifts the soul. The first four fall into this category, from the uptempo Randy Newman-composed title track that deals with hard times in the city through a slow and somber lament about the inevitability of change to a tale of rural tragedy and finally wistful yearning on My Father, the Judy Collins composition.
On the third, a harrowing tale of family disintegrating is counteracted by one character's determination to cling to hope and the affirmative intonations of the gospel choir. The tone changes on Music For Lovers, a ballad with a spacious arrangement, and again on the uptempo piece of wise advice titled Rich Girl. The exquisite That's All I Want From You is a highlight; this must be one of the most graceful and tender love songs of all time.
This gem of an album concludes with two traditionals, the soulful and comforting Balm In Gilead which is followed by the uptempo devotional If You Pray Right. Those who appreciate Baltimore will most likely also enjoy the Best Of album which contains her rendition of Leonard Cohen's Suzanne and the heart-rending Compensation, her musical setting of the poem Compassion by Paul Laurence Dunbar.