Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Nina Simone: Sings the Blues

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Though I’d reason it’s impossible to have too much Nina Simone in your CD library, and I applaud the various labels that have kept such an enormous amount of her material in print, there doesn’t seem an enormous necessity for this trio of RCA reissues. Not, at least, with RCA’s superlative, double-disc, 40-track Sugar in My Bowl: The Very Best of Nina Simone, 1967-72 still easily available.

Completists might, understandably, want both of Simone’s 1967 studio gems-Sings the Blues and Silk & Soul-in their original state, with their original cover art. And they will surely appreciate such bonuses as an alternate version of “Do I Move You?” on Blues and “Why Must Your Love Well Be So Dry” on Silk. Also, the idea behind Forever Young, Gifted and Black, which gathers several of Simone’s essential civilrights anthems-“Mississippi Goddam” and the powerful Martin Luther King eulogy “Why?” principal among them-on a single disc, seems a clever one. And, indeed, scattered among these three platters are a handful of precious gems-most obviously “Cherish,” “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” “House of the Rising Sun” and “The Times They Are A-Changin'”-that didn’t make it onto the compilation.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.