Nina Simone's Finest Hour (CD)


Ships on: July 30, 2024

Nina Simone communicates with a unique force on this Finest Hour collection, a welling, riveting power that's beyond the range of other singers. It's there whether the song is romantic or political, whimsical or sentimental, and these recordings from the 1960s demonstrate the range of material that she could make her own, from Gershwin to Jacques Brel, from Screamin' Jay Hawkins to Nat Adderley. With her own civil rights-era anthems like "Mississippi Goddam" and the Brecht-Weill "Pirate Jenny," Simone commands our attention with a profoundly brooding, searing rage, while there's potent sensuality in her "Wild Is the Wind" and Willard Robison's "Don't Smoke in Bed." Whether she's accompanying herself with her spare piano or defying studio orchestras with the intensity of her performance, Simone is a special singer, her art consisting of stripping away the decorative artifice of a song to reveal a molten core beneath. --Stuart Broomer


1. Love Me Or Leave Me
2. Wild Is The Wind
3. I Put A Spell On You
4. Work Song
5. Don't Explain
6. The Other Woman
7. Mississippi Goddam
8. Four Women
9. Pirate Jenny
10. I Loves You Porgy
11. This Year's Kisses
12. Little Girl Blue
13. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
14. Ne Me Quitte Pas
15. Don't Smoke In Bed