Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Wild is the Wind / High Priestess of Soul
Genres: Jazz, Pop, R&B, Broadway & Vocalists
Nina Simone has long been notorious for her eclecticism, and this set of two 1966 LPs provides ample evidence of her disinterest with strict segmentation. Wild is the Wind is culled from five separate '64 and '65 sessions ... more »
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Nina Simone has long been notorious for her eclecticism, and this set of two 1966 LPs provides ample evidence of her disinterest with strict segmentation. Wild is the Wind is culled from five separate '64 and '65 sessions and finds the mercurial madam backed by an orchestra and small ensembles. Most striking is Simone's own "Four Women," an early indication of her always-near-boil rage. High Priestess finds Simone essaying everything from Chuck Berry to Duke Ellington to the accompaniment of a big band directed by Hal Mooney. The boisterous arrangements aren't particularly flattering, but Simone is engaged and engaging throughout. --Steven Stolder
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Two Nina albums for the price of one. A must have! 4.5 stars
williedynamite | 10/31/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Wild is the wind/ High priestess of soul; two albums by Nina simone relaesed in the late 1960. (1966 Wild is the wind and 1967 high priestess of soul) Thanks to the good (or just plain greedy) people at Polygram they've decided to re-relaese these albums together. A deal that shouldn't be passed up by any Nina fan. The Wild is the wind album is the stronger of the two albums. It begins with a swinging version of I love your lovin' ways. After which follows the powerhouse four woman, which is reason enough to buy this CD. The rest of Wild is the wind is chock full of bluesy, lonely woman blues ballads which are the staple of Ninia Simone's music. Standout cuts are what more can I say, Lilac wine, That's all i ask, wild as the wind and of course four women. 5 stars The high priestess of soul is the weaker of the two albums. It contains more swing and pop tunes and less ballads. it's more experimental and Nina uses more varied influences than wild... That doesn't mean that high preistess.. isn't good. it contains several strong songs. The high powered i'm gonna leave you and the brown eyed hansome man are two uptempo songs that start out the high preistess portion. The keeper of the flame is the lone ballad and one of the strongest songs on this portion of the CD. There are also a couple of gospel songs that nina sings as well. She sings the traditional Take me to the river and her gospel roots are claerly evident I'm going back home which and I love my baby. There's even an african influenced song Come ye. Overall a strong album from Nina but not a classic. 4 stars Together both albums average out to 4.5 stars. For the price this is an absolute steal. You get two very good albums for one from one of americas brillian and most misunderstood singers of the 20th century. A must have for Simone fans."
The Most High Priestess of Soul -- and then some
Tony Moor | New York, NY USA | 11/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Aside from her composition "Four Women" -- introduced to me via pre-video-age teleplay, on PBS, I think -- I knew little about Nina Simone or her work before 2001. I knew who she was and understood that she'd earned some significant recognition in popular music, but for whatever reason I was unable to appreciate her or her talent. For instance, I didn't know that she often accompanied herself on piano and is quite an accomplished pianist. I didn't know that, apparently, the best way to appreciate Nina Simone is live. Then I read a short bio on her included in David Nathan's "The Soulful Divas." Her autobiography, "I Put A Spell On You," had been recommended to me for years, but I couldn't get it up for her music, let alone her life. She just didn't move me -- Until I read the "Divas" profile, which made me want to hear from this eclectic talent.
This dual-LP CD is a pretty good intro to Nina Simone. Few artists are as adventurous and successful with diverse music styles. Everything from pop to R&B to jazz to blues to show tunes to folk songs can be found in Simone's catalog. In "Wild/High Priestess." I tend to like her slower, mellower offerings. My favorite here is "That's All That I Ask." From the seriously sensual a capella intro (Don't try to blow out the sun for me, baby/I don't ask for what I know can't be) listeners are treated to a knee-buckling, emotionally wrenching appeal that cannot be ignored. Simone's incredible phrasing and diction makes you hang onto every word. My only complaint is that the song is way too short. I'm similarly moved by "What More Can I Say," "Lilac Wine," "Wild Is the Wind" (a live version), "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair" (also live) and "Keeper of the Flame."
I want to include "Don't You Pay Them No Mind" in that group, but here Simone opts for a gritty delivery that slightly wrecks the flow of the vibe established in the mellow tunes. But I still like the soulful performance.
Speaking of soulful performances, some memorable ones can be found on "Why Keep on Breaking My Heart," "If I Should Lose You" and "He Ain't Comin' Home No More." But "Either Way I Lose" and "I Love My Baby" confirm why the "High Priestess of Soul" moniker is so apropos. "I Hold No Grudge" is a nice piece, but Simone isn't in particularly good voice here.
Some defiantly category-defying entries would have to include the compelling and theatrical "Four Women," "Come Ye" -- spiritual and optimistic yet seductive, featuring simply Simone on richly textured, soothing vocal with percussion accompaniment -- and "Work Song," delivered in powerful, never-say-die fashion.
As for the rest of the stuff offered here, there's really nothing wrong with them, they just don't move me. But in my own defense, I gotta say that "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" is just a dumb song. Lyrically, anyway.
Eighteen out of 23 cuts ain't bad."
Why I Love Nina Simone
MMM81 | Tampa, FL | 10/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the album(s) that led to me falling in love with Nina Simone. I was browsing through a local music store and saw this CD. I had no idea who she was but it looked "interesting." At first I only listened to Four Women over and over again. I suppose she is an acquired taste...now I love the whole CD and own many many more of her albums. Even some on vinyl. This album shows her talents from traditional songs to pop songs to jazz songs and she's equally wonderful no matter what she sings and plays piano on."