Sunday, February 22, 2009

Nina Simone - Sugar In My Bowl: The Very Best Of 1967-1972

A famously temperamental but inspired performer, Nina Simone - though dubbed the "High Priestess of Soul" - also skipped effortlessly between (and combined) jazz, rock, pop, blues and folk. Despite being a more-than-capable songwriter herself (her own songs were arguably among her best), her focus was on performing, and she covered songs by an eclectic mix of artists including Bob Dylan, Duke Ellington and the Bee Gees.

Born Eunice Waymon, she was the sixth of eight children growing up in a poor family in small-town North Carolina. Her musical talent was noticed at an early age, and funds were raised through public subscription to pay for piano lessons. In 1950, she attended the Julliard School of Music in New York in order to pursue her ambition of becoming a classical concert pianist. Having studied for so many years, her failure to be accepted for a scholarship at the prestigious Curtis Institute (very possibly because of racial bias), left her devastated.

She turned to performing popular music in 1954 as a way of supplementing a meager income from teaching piano, adopting the stage-name Nina Simone to avoid her religiously-minded mother discovering that she was playing secular music. Having been told to sing in addition to playing piano in order to keep her job at a small bar in Atlantic City, she built a steady local following with her striking vocal performances and eclectic shows which lead to her being signed to the Bethlehem label.

After her cover of Gershwin's, "I Loves You Porgy" became a minor hit in the late 1950s, she began an endless round of touring and releasing records during the 1960s. During this time she became increasingly drawn into the civil rights movement and, following the failure of her marriage to her partner-manager Andy Stroud, she became an active campaigner. Her political awareness became increasingly reflected in her music, and songs such as "Mississippi Goddam" and "To Be Young, Gifted and Black" were anthems for the civil rights movement.

Having become increasingly bitter and frustrated by both the political climate and her various record companies, and with taxation problems looming, she decided to leave the United States. She moved with her daughter to Barbados in 1974, the first of many subsequent moves which would take her to Africa and eventually to Europe. The move signalled the end of the most prolific phase of her career, as subsequent concerts and releases became increasingly sporadic.

Although significant commercial success had always eluded her (compounded by having signed away most of her rights to the Bethlehem label at the start of her career), the use of the song "My Baby Just Cares For Me" on a television ad during 1987 sparked a minor revival. Her autobiography was published in 1992. She died at her home in France in 2003.

Nina Simone - Sugar In My Bowl: The Very Best Of 1967-1972

Compilation, released in 1998


Disc 1

1. My Man's Gone Now
2. Since I Fell For You
3. I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl
4. Do I Move You (version II)
5. Blues For Mama
6. Backlash Blues
7. In The Dark
8. Consummation
9. Go To Hell
10. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free
11. Turning Point
12. Turn Me On
13. Look Of Love
14. To Love Somebody
15. I Can't See Nobody
16. In The Morning
17. Do What You Gotta Do
18. Ain't Got No / I Got Life
19. Please Read Me
20. Sunday In Savannah
21. Why? (The King Of Love Is Dead)
22. Mississippi Goddam

Disc 2

1. I Think It's Going To Rain Today
2. I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes)
3. Nobody's Fault But Mine
4. Another Spring
5. Compassion
6. Seems I'm Never Tired Of Lovin' You
7. I Shall Be Released
8. To Be Young Gifted And Black
9. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
10. Suzanne
11. My Father (Dialog)
12. Jelly Roll
13. Tell It Like It Is
14. Mr. Bojangles
15. Here Comes The Sun
16. Ooh Child
17. Poppies
18. 22nd Century

Link in comments


treasurebox said...




Anonymous said...

Absolutely first rate post! Thank you very much. I didn't have this one and thought I had them all. LOL


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...