Nina Simone – Folksy Nina – Colpix/ PurePleasure PPAN SCP465, 40:04 – 180g vinyl (1963/2015) [11/11/14]***1/2:
(Nina Simone – piano, vocals; Alvin Schackman – guitar; Phil Orlando – guitar; Lisle Ackinson – bass; Montego Joe – drums)
This is another re-issue by Pure Pleasure Records of a classic recording of Nina Simone performing to a live audience at Carnegie Hall in 1963. Although many might only think of Simone as a jazz singer, here we have Nina performing folk songs from a variety of different cultures. It is easy to be swept away by her typically impressive vocals, but one should also pay attention to her talents at the piano (i.e. the last track on side two).
Like other artists who form a bond with the audience, in this capacity Simone is able to communicate more effectively the history and origins of the tunes on this record. While some of the songs will be familiar, others have roots in the blues and religion too. The performance is a blend of jazz and soul with some additional accompaniment on a tune here and there for effect. Simone can truly be captivating and there are hints of her haunting vocals throughout. The recording is fair to better and (not having another version to compare) my guess is there is distortion/compression/overloading on the original master tape. The effect was different on two different turntable/cartridge combos I tried, but there were still problems evident. As for the music, if you enjoy Simone’s styling and are willing to take a chance on some new material then it is likely you will feel rewarded.
Side 1: Silver City Bound; When I Was A Young Girl; Erets Zavat Chalav; Lass Of The Low Country
Side 2: The Young Night; Twelfth Of Never; Vanetihu; You Can Sing A Rainbow; Hush Little Baby