Nina Simone – Nina Simone’s Finest Hour (2000)

Nina Simone – Nina Simone’s Finest Hour
2000 Verve Records (314 543 604-2)

I thought I would make a quick blog post to commemorate International Women’s Day and pay tribute to one of my heroes, the great Nina Simone.  Superlatively gifted and inspired as both a pianist and vocalist, courageous and visionary, groundbreaking, tenacious, mercurial — I could keep throwing adjectives at this woman all day and never run out of them.  Is this collection her “finest hour”? 

Well, no, because much like the Wayne Shorter post from a few days ago, this only represents her material for one label, Verve Records, and she had a long and storied career.  But it IS an hour’s worth of music, and it does get you “Mississippi Goddamn” and “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”, two songs that left their marks in very different ways, and a pleasing mix of studio and live tracks.   But the song that probably most deserves to be highlighted here for International Women’s Day is the deeply powerful original, Four Women.  

There is a high-resolution 24-bit version of this but I am also linking to the standard CD release.

1 Love Me Or Leave Me 4:06
2 Wild Is The Wind 6:59
3 I Put A Spell On You 2:37
4 Work Song 3:08
5 Don’t Explain 4:22
6 The Other Woman 3:05
7 Mississippi Goddamn 4:55
8 Four Women 4:26
9 Pirate Jenny 6:41
10 I Loves You, Porgy 2:32
11 This Year’s Kisses 3:00
12 Little Girl Blue 4:21
13 Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood 2:48
14 Ne Me Quitte Pas 3:38
15 Don’t Smoke In Bed 5:24

Arranged By, Conductor – Hal Mooney (tracks: 3, 4), Horace Ott (tracks: 13)
Bass – Lisle Atkinson (tracks: 1, 2, 5, 7 to 9, 11, 12)
Drums – Bobby Hamilton (tracks: 1, 2, 5, 7 to 9 11, 12)
Flute – Rudy Stevenson (tracks: 5, 7, 8, 12)
Guitar – Rudy Stevenson (tracks: 1 to 3, 7, 8, 11, 12)
Mastered By [Compilation] – Jeff Willens
Photography [Back] – Ray Avery’s Jazz Archives
Photography [Cover] – Don Cropper
Piano, Vocals – Nina Simone

p/w: vibes

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One Comment

  1. Thank you very much…

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