Nina Simone Band

Discussion in 'Music Forum' started by cshadows2887, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. cshadows2887 Mar 8, 2016
    (Last edited: Apr 2, 2016)
    cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    The High Priestess of Soul herself.

    [​IMG]

    Nina Simone
    The High Priestess of Soul herself. Though her specialty was jazz, Nina absorbed blues, soul, R&B and even pop into her eclectic and unique style. She was a gifted piano player and a distinct vocal talent. She was socially conscious and politically radical at a time when it really mattered. She recorded the definitive versions of other people’s songs, and debuted songs that other artists would take to great heights later. She’s certainly one of the most sampled artists in hip-hop, which is as good a piece of evidence as any that her influence is still massive. She’s incomparable.

    Recommended Listen:
    Nina Simone Sings the Blues

    Crash Course:
    1. Nina Simone Sings the Blues
    2. High Priestess of Soul
    3. I Put a Spell on You

    Compilation Replacement:
    Anthology

    Signature Songs:
    1. “I Loves You Porgy”
    2. “Don’t You Pay Them No Mind”
    3. “In the Dark”
    4. “Sinnerman”
    5. “Mississipi Goddamn”

    Personal Note: Nina is such a complex and multifaceted artist that it was almost impossible to really encapsulate everything she could do, or rank her different eras. As such, this is definitely more weighted toward my personal opinions than usual, just because it was the only way to make head or tails. She has plenty of staple early live albums that could have been in the crash course, or her later records which are beloved and have a cult following now but weren’t her best-reviewed. I also left out plenty of staple songs of hers because I just couldn’t live without having “In the Dark” and “Don’t You Pay Them No Mind” on that list. So please, explore beyond what’s here. Do a little research (allmusic.com is always a good resource) and follow any thread that appeals to you. You really can’t go wrong.
     
    figureitout likes this.
  2. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    If anyone is looking for a place to start, Nina Simone Sings the Blues is her masterpiece. High Priestess of Soul is not far behind.
     
    Wharf Rat likes this.
  3. Wharf Rat

    Phil bombs not bombs // DRONE not drones Prestigious

    My post was gonna be about how Sings the Blues has always been my favorite but High Priestess has been catching up lately
     
    cshadows2887 likes this.
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  5. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    I have a hard time picking a next favorite, honestly. Wild Is the Wind and I Put a Spell on You are probably the top candidates, but it's a challenge.

    Not to mention I still have so much left to hear.
     
  6. Wharf Rat

    Phil bombs not bombs // DRONE not drones Prestigious

    Ever heard her liberian-influenced/calypso album?



    Or her funky disco-y one?

     
    ChaseTx likes this.
  7. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    I actually haven't yet. Nothing between Silk and Soul and A Single Woman used to be available on streaming services or affordable CD. For a long time, any record store I went into I would check for Nina albums and buy anything they had on the rare occasion there was one though.

    I've heard At the Village Gate, Broadway-Blues-Ballads, I Put a Spell on You, Pastel Blues, Let It All Out, Wild Is the Wind, High Priestess of Soul, Sings the Blues, Silk and Soul, Nina Simone and Piano and A Single Woman. 11 has never felt like so few.
     
  8. Wharf Rat

    Phil bombs not bombs // DRONE not drones Prestigious

    Honestly I'm not sure exactly which of those I've heard. Most of those, I think...You've gotten me more into her. I listened a lot in high school when I was trying to learn how to accompany a singer, especially and A Piano, obviously. I've only recently started digging in deep again.
     
  9. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Honestly and Piano is my least favorite thing I've heard. Precision was never her strongest quality as a vocalist, but she gets downright messy on that one at times. I think I'll probably love her run of stuff in that period like Black Gold and To Love Somebody though.
     
  10. Wharf Rat

    Phil bombs not bombs // DRONE not drones Prestigious

    Yeah it's messy but charming as hell idk. It's so simple and the flaws are endearing. I haven't dug into the 70s stuff at all. I'll make it there eventually though
     
  11. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Like I've heard 11 albums of hers, and then Kanye goes and samples her and I have zero clue. So much greatness left to hear.

    Favorite song, no debate: "Don't You Pay Them No Mind"
     
  12. Wharf Rat

    Phil bombs not bombs // DRONE not drones Prestigious

    Oh god. I don't even know. That's up there. "House of the Rising Sun," "I Loves You, Porgy," "I Got It Bad (and That Ain't Good)," "See-Line Woman." I can't do it
     
  13. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Since incorporating it into my curriculum at work, "Mississippi Goddamn" has grown on me a lot.
     
    Wharf Rat likes this.
  14. Wharf Rat

    Phil bombs not bombs // DRONE not drones Prestigious

    That must be rewarding to work stuff in like that. And at first I read that as "incorporating it into my vocabulary" for some reason
     
  15. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Yeah my first two years I was too panic stricken trying to figure out how to fit all the things I'm "supposed" to teach. And then my seniors on the football team who come out to "Blood on the Leaves" had no idea where the sample comes from.

    I figured at that point if I can't bring music and context into stuff like A Raisin in the Sun, then why the hell am I doing this?

    So we covered "Blowin' in the Wind", "Strange Fruit", "People Get Ready" and, among others, pair of Nina "Mississippi Goddamn" and "To Be Young Gifted and Black"
     
    Wharf Rat likes this.
  16. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Hah I'm not that good yet. But I will be someday.
     
  17. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    I'm really excited for this week. I've heard 11 of her records, but really I have an absurd amount to explore.
     
  18. jordalsh

    jordalsh.wordpress.com Prestigious

    ok wow I love Sings The Blues so far

    The very end of "Real Real" where the music trails off and it's just her voice....gorgeous.
     
    cshadows2887 likes this.
  19. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Random pointless anecdote:

    Before streaming services really fully caught on her stuff was frequently out of print, and what had been remastered wasn't in too many stores' limited jazz sections. So I had a standing rule that any time I went into a record store, I searched for her and any proper albums they had, I bought on the spot. I got High Priestess of Soul at Disney world. I got Nina Simone and Piano at some random little shop in New Hampshire.

    I love that I got to have that because it's the closest I'll ever get to the old school music fandom of having to hunt and search to find a record and getting that thrill when there's something new to discover.
     
    ChaseTx and ChiliTacos like this.
  20. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    I get why Nina wasn't wild about Baltimore (it's a lot of production for her) but WOW do I love it. The strings are big, but they're beautiful. And Nina over some funk grooves is novel and, improbably works. Some awesome material choices (Randy Newman?!? Hall and Oates!?! :heart: )

    And while there are a bunch of great songs, "Music for Lovers" is absolutely breathtaking. When she made up her mind to really dynamically deliver a song ("My Man's Gone Now" from Sings the Blues), there was nobody who could touch her.
     
    Wharf Rat likes this.
  21. George

    Trusted Prestigious

    Would like to give a shoutout to Pastel Blues, which is probably my favourite record of hers, and contains definitely my favourite song of hers - Sinnerman. The control and the power behind Sinnerman is absolutely remarkable. I couldn't imagine anybody else singing it. One of the best vocal cuts ever recorded. Other highlights include the hypnotic opening track, Be My Husband, and the tragic, brutal cover of Strange Fruit.

    However, like Chris says, you can't go wrong with any of her records really, she's got half a dozen stone-cold classics. I'm only familiar with her 60s stuff really, the latest album of hers I've listened to is Black Gold from 1970, so I'm interested in digging a bit deeper.

    @cshadows2887, do you have a recommendation for a deeper cut album?
     
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  22. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    I'm sure you've heard Wild Is the Wind, which was hard to leave out of the 3. I'm pretty fond of the pop pair of To Love Somebody and Here Comes the Sun as well. And if you want to go early, At the Village Gate is a good live album.
     
  23. cshadows2887 Apr 3, 2016
    (Last edited: Apr 3, 2016)
    cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Listened to Wild is the Wind again last night. It was a really hard decision to leave it out of the Crash Course. It's just tremendous from top to bottom. It has some of her most controlled singing and the songs are just consistently excellent. It has staples like "Wild Is the Wind", "Four Women" and "Lilac Wine", but honestly "What More Can I Say" might be the best on the record and "If I Should Lose You" is right up there. She always excelled at dramatic ballads, but never really focused more on them than she does on this record.

    First listen and In Concert is very good. All of the songs are intimately performed, which is no surprise. But nothing on the record even comes close to measuring up to the incredible "Mississippi Goddamn". It might be the best protest song ever recorded. Funny, full of fire, ambitious, cutting. Love it.

    Here Comes the Sun I haven't heard in quite awhile and it's better than I remembered. Sometimes she just gives a great read on the song without changing much in the arrangement ("Mr. Bojangles"and "Ooh Child"), but others, like "My Way" she just utterly turns inside out and recreates. It's awful that Spotify doesn't indicate that the album ends with "My Way" and that the rest are bonus tracks. Bugs me. But the bonus tracks are of some curiosity interest if you're a fan, in particular "22nd Century" is one of the best songs I've heard from her
     
    ChaseTx likes this.
  24. ChiliTacos

    eh eh x c x Prestigious

    Oh wow I'm excited for this week. Just finished Nina Simone Sings The Blues and wow was it good. I was sort of preoccupied while listening, so no doubt I'm going to listen to it again and pay more attention. Do I Move You? is a hell of an opener, and may have been my favorite on the album. The closer is great too, really fun way to end the album.
     
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  25. jordalsh

    jordalsh.wordpress.com Prestigious

    My man's gone now knocked me off my feet last night
     
    cshadows2887 likes this.
  26. ChiliTacos

    eh eh x c x Prestigious

    Just starting High Priestess of Soul, goddamn that first track. Her voice is perfect!
     
    cshadows2887 likes this.