NINA AND PIANO
This album is a first for Nina Simone. It features Nina accompanying herself at the keyboard. There is one instance of overdubbing the organ and some others of dubbing her voice and of clapping and tambourines, but in this album everything is done solely by Nina Simone with no outside help.
The product here is “pure” Nina. Always pertinent, persuasive, and exciting, this great artist has the lusty, lyrical, and explosive power to ignite audiences of all races. Her message is that of life on this earth. THE TRUTH.
The impact here is individual, for Nina treats each song differently, and each complements the other. Nina is a strong but dedicated woman—dedicated to turning her listeners “on” and continually demonstrating her boundless creative talents.
It has been said by many music critics that Nina is the most emotional songstress in the world today. Her total involvement will encase one person’s mind while, on the other hand, she might infuriate another. Yes, Nina Simone doesn’t play games—she plays piano and sings. Let’s listen!
Blues, soul, and all the musical connotations that magnify the musical ability of black artists are apparent in Nina’s rendition of Seems I’m Never Tired Lovin’ You. The black spiritual Nobody’s Fault But Mine, which is now a standard, adds to the total color of the album.
As we continue, Nina’s vast background in life’s changes furthers her individualism in each song she sings. Like all of us, she has experienced her share of life’s sorrows, disappointments, happiness, and bitterness. Nina has tasted life, and this is what she sings about. This is particularly noticeable on I Think It’s Going To Rain Today and Everyone’s Gone To The Moon. The latter song is indeed apropos in light of the recent Apollo 7 flight. In closing Side 1 of this remarkable album, Nina takes off on a poem written by black poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar. It’s called Compensation.
Who Am I and Another Spring present a stirring emotional setting guided by an intelligent train of musical thought. Note the gospel roots of black life in Another Spring. Nina’s ballad style is evident on the informative and poetic The Human Touch. She treats the evergreen I Get Along Without You Very Well with tender expressiveness.
The Desperate Ones is an English translation of one of the outstanding Jacques Brel compositions currently being featured in the off-Broadway hit musical “Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living In Paris.” Nina’s a gas here…
That’s it. Now you have it—the most enjoyable musical presentation I’ve ever heard.
“Nina Simone and Piano” is stylish, subtle, inventive, soulful, and…”pure.”
- Nina Simone: vocals, piano, arrangements
- Ray Hall: engineer
- Joseph Dylewski: photography
- Tom Reed: liner notes
- Label: RCA, 1969
- Recording session: New York City – RCA Studios – September 16 & October 1, 1968
- Catalog number: LSP-4102