A milestone in the art of black american singing
JEAN-MARIE JUIF | BESANCON France | 06/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One phrase by Richard Pryor could sum up everything: "white people had Judy Garland;we had Nina.God bless ya,baby!".
Nina Simone (1933-2003),born Eunice Kathleen Waymon,indeed was a beautiful human beeing.Because of her political and social thoughts; because of her voice,one of the most moving of the 20th century,with Billie,Dinah and Lil Green;and because of her amazing piano playing.Yes,this Lady belongs to the small club of the best piano players,with Hines,Duke,Monk,Bud,MaryLou,Fats and Tatum.
Now,about the record;I gave it five stars,even if I think that this item doesn't reach the unsurpassable level of the Colpix recordings (Nina at Newport,Nina at Carnegie Hall,Nina with strings,Nina at the Village Gate,Forbidden fruit,Nina sings Ellington,the amazing Nina Simone).The Colpix years gave us some of the most precious treasures in the history of jazz.
Here,you won't find the ferocity,the urgence you heard in "work song","forbidden fruit","trouble in mind","li'l Liza Jane";here is the intimate side of Nina Simone,alone with her piano,recorded 1968.And even if the jacket is one of the most horrible of all times (the cover "art" is a supreme moment in the registry of ugliness;doing a worse thing seems almost impossible),the music is absolutely outstanding.There are no very well known standards here;those who treasure Billie Holiday's recordings will recognize the haunting "I'll get around without you very well" and "I'll look around";there is the beautiful "the man with the horn";"the desperate ones",a french song by Belgian-born singer Jacques Brel (Nina also sung "Ne me quitte pas",another song by Brel);there is the old spiritual,"Nobody's fault but mine";did you ever heard Blind Willie Johnson's version of it ??? There are many other wonderful songs;there are Nina's extraordinary,very african voice ,and her amazing piano playing.Please,don't miss it!!!"
Love side of love/hate
Matthew Mcclellan | 10/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Very personal and raw music here. "I Get Along Without You Very Well" is essential. There's a lot of quirky stuff but I see this album as a gutsy exertion of freedom and honesty. Nina Simone isn't someone I often recommend to soul fans, jazz fans, funk fans, or folk fans. She's really in a category by herself and in most cases, you'll have to come to Nina on Nina's terms. I believe her loneliness on this album."