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Verve Jazz Masters 17

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Review

Nina Simone's inclusion in Verve's Jazz Masters series is a bit suspect; there was a lot of jazz in Simone, true, but wasn't there quite a bit of pop and soul as well, not to mention some blues? Anyway, this is an excellent survey of her mid-'60s work, with 16 tracks spanning 1964 to 1966 that find Simone at her most versatile and assured. Quite a range is encompassed here: traditional folk ("Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair"), R&B (her jazzy rendition of "I Put a Spell on You"), Jacques Brel ("Ne Me Quitte Pas"), Billie Holiday ("Strange Fruit"), the Gershwins ("I Loves You, Porgy"), Rodgers & Hart ("Little Girl Blue"), and modern jazz (Nat Adderley's "Work Song"). Other highlights are the mesmerizing "See Line Woman" and the original version of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," which was a hit for the Animals shortly afterwards. On the two original compositions, "Four Women" and "Mississippi Goddam," Simone confronts racism in a head-on fashion rare for the time. Discographical details: the version of "Little Girl Blue" is a mono alternate take, and the recording of "My Baby Just Cares for Me" is not from the mid-'60s, but a 1987 live album. ~ Richie Unterberger
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair Nina Simone 3:24
  3. 2 I Put a Spell on You Nina Simone 2:33
  4. 3 Love Me or Leave Me Nina Simone 4:2
  5. 4 Little Girl Blue [Mono Alternate Take][Alternate Take] Nina Simone 4:17
  6. 5 My Baby Just Cares for Me Nina Simone 3:0
  7. 6 I Loves You, Porgy Nina Simone 2:29
  8. 7 Work Song Nina Simone 3:5
  9. 8 Ne Me Quitte Pas Nina Simone 3:34
  10. 9 Wild Is the Wind Nina Simone 6:56
  11. 10 See Line Women Nina Simone 2:34
  12. 11 Strange Fruit Nina Simone 3:28
  13. 12 Pirate Jenny Nina Simone 6:36
  14. 13 Four Women Nina Simone 4:23
  15. 14 Mississippi Goddam Nina Simone 4:51
  16. 15 Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood Nina Simone 2:42
  17. 16 I Hold No Grudge Nina Simone 2:19

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