Sublime songs, divine voice
Pieter | Johannesburg | 03/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This rather obscure album reveals the beauty of Nina Simone's voice like no other. Not being a jazz fan, I am not moved by all the tracks but where she does ballads and soul, the effects are sublime. There are at least four timeless songs here that will send shivers down your spine.One More Sunday In Savannah with its gospel feel and the poignant Cotton Eyed Joe are exquisite interpretations, bittersweet and evocative. When I Was In My Prime is in the same league, a tender and moving song that is amongst the highlights of her entire recorded output.
My fourth favorite is the great Zungo, a mantra-like song with a magical, hypnotic feel. The backing music on the aforementioned masterpieces is as exquisite as her voice. Other superb songs include I Loves You Porgy (her Top 20 hit from 1959), Young, Gifted and Black (this was later covered by Aretha Franklin) and her version of Jacques Brel's Ne Me Quitte Pas.
For those who like vocal jazz, this is a must have album. If you're a Nina Simone fan, this album is essential as it includes many hard-to-find tracks. There is another Best Of Nina Simone album on the RCA label that is also great, with beautiful songs like Compensation, Why (The King Of Love Is Dead), Dylan's I Shall Be Released and Cohen's Suzanne. But this one on the Tomato label has the edge as it showcases her atmospheric voice in all its pristine glory.Full track listing: Porgy/I Got It Bad And That Aint No Good/Young Gifted And Black/Hey Buddy Bolden/Ne Me Quitte Pas/One More Sunday In Savannah/Cotton Eyed Joe/When I Was In My Prime/Black Is The Color/I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl/Backlash Blues/The Laziest Girl In Town/Zungo/Satin Doll."