Nina Simone…

Recently, the late great Nina Simone just had a birthday. She would’ve been 78 years young. Nina Simone, for those who don’t know her, is the epitome of jazz music. Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon on February 21, 1933, Nina Simone became jazz music’s powerhouse. She was, and still is, a highly influential person in the jazz genre and played an instrumental role in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement back in the 1960s. Ms. Simone has influenced everyone from Patti LaBelle to Elton John to Erykah Badu. Ms. Simone died in 1993 after a lengthy battle with breast cancer.  Her only daughter is  now a star on Broadway.

 

On her birthday, I was meaning to do a post dedicated to her but never got around to it. Of course, it’s never to late to honor someone great. I love this song just because of the piano arrangement. The video is cute, too and fun to watch.

As standard, I like to mix it up on the blog (it can’t always be about sex). So lay back and enjoy the beautiful and soulful sounds of Ms. Nina Simone:

 

4 thoughts on “Nina Simone…

  1. Chantale Reve says:

    So breathtaking to see your post on the immortal Nina Simone! Talk about one of the most-underrated-in-the-U.S. singer-musicians! I love Jennifer Hudson’s voice, but I don’t care how much she elongates her vowels to enunciate “a new dawn” in that WW commercial — she doesn’t come close to Nina Simone. I would’ve preferred that Hudson articulate the lyrics her way. No one, and I mean no one, can “do” Nina Simone. Her vocal stylization was too idiosyncratic, added with her timbre, to be copied. I have a similar opinion about Sarah Vaughan — God, how I miss her, too.

    Several years ago, I was visiting the African American Museum in Philadelphia, where there was a multimedia collage representing Nina Simone. A young Black man, perhaps a teen-ager, took one look and made a repugnant remark about the huge lips on the collage. After I waited for him to finish laughing, I asked him, “Do you know who Nina Simone was?” He said no. I suggested he go on-line to YouTube and listen to her sing. I promised him that once he heard her voice, he would always remember who she was.

    It took a tiny film titled Before Sunset (Richard Linklater’s sequel to Before Sunrise) to jog people’s memory (in the United States) of Nina Simone, back in 2004 or so. Linklater is American, but the aforementioned films were shot in Europe (Before Sunset in Paris; Before Sunrise in Vienna).

    Near the end of Before Sunset, Julie Delpy’s character brings her American author lover (played by Ethan Hawke) up to her apartment in some divine arrondissement and plays a Nina Simone LP (yeah, as in vinyl) for him. He becomes entranced; she becomes inspired. Delpy’s voice is in tune but so wispy and fragile, but as she sings along with Simone’s voice, which is at turns bodacious and fragile, something magical happens on screen.

    For me, your post on Nina Simone evoked Before Sunset, when I was reminded of that robust voice of hers singing: “And I’m feeeelin goooooood.”

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