One of the best "live" albums ever
Jason H. Luckett | Culver City, CA United States | 04/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm talking about the vinyl version here, which I spent [$$$] on about 10 years ago, and though I'm waiting for a domestic copy, (there's one coming out with Emergency Ward and It Is Finished combined) I can heartily endorse this album. The gender flip, self-affirming alternate examination of "Black Is the Color" is priceless. I can't believe this version hasn't been as widely available as the songs "Images" and "Turning Point." It kind of completes a powerful trilogy of self awareness. Then to hear her close the set with "To Be Young Gifted and Black" you'll be transported to a time where pain was present, but nihilism wasn't an option. It's the sort of moment captured that inspires one to hold his head up, grab a hand and walk into a hostile world beaming with the strength of love and hope. Now the only weird thing about it is that the whole album isn't entirely live, as anyone who has the Sugar In My Bowl collection knows. But however this collage was put together, the net result is extremely inspirational art."
Last Place To Start
Remaster Bob | Hong Kong, China SAR Hong Kong | 05/25/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"If you're thinking of dipping your toe into the tumultuous waters of Nina Simone's artistry then you're making a good decision, but whatever you do don't start here. This is for completists and fanatics only. (Try my favourite single album "Baltimore" perhaps, or one of the many credible compilations such as "Sugar In My Bowl - The Very Best Of 1967-1972").
There is virtually no information provided on this release to tell us who to blame for what claims to be of 2004 quality standard, but let's be charitable and assume the problem lies with the original live recordings rather than a hapless remastering engineer. Either way the sound is dreadful. As if it was recorded on tin cans, or recorded in a tin shed. Nina's vocals are approaching inaudible. The temptation of hearing her sing Sandy Denny's "Who Knows Where The Time Goes" led to a bitter disappointment, and the muffled sound of "Young, Gifted, and Black" will make you wonder (yet again) how the record companies keep managing to beguile that money out of your wallet.
Nina Simone is a major artist; this is a major disappointment."
A Fascinating Album
DJ Wilbur | Manhasset, NY USA | 03/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an incredible listen. Granted its got a minor sound issue but its such a rewarding performance, you just need to turn the volume knob up a bit to hear it well. This is not utterly compressed like other live records and there is a lot of dynamic range between the quiet and louder sections.
Nina is almost under a spell on this one. Her storytelling is fascinating and this album contains some of her most astonishing live cuts of all her live albums. Who Knows Where The Time Goes, Westwind, The Assisgnment sequence.
Maybe not the album to start your Nina journey with, but if you want one of her most compelling RCA titles, and one of her most compelling live albums, this is the one to get when you're exploring that part of her catalog."