Nina Simone is without doubt one of the most influential jazz, soul and blues singers of the 19th century. Born in 1933, she basically fell in love with a piano at her local church in North Carolina at the tender age of three. At the age of 19 she already manage to build her first local fan-base in a smoky Jazz Bar in Atlantic city where she would make a careless living by playing piano and singing.
The real breakthrough had to wait another few years until 1958, when Simone recorded her own interpretation of “I Loves you porgy” from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (If you don’t know this one – go see the opera). A swarm of studio and live albums were about to follow, ranging from soulful blues to gospel, from rhythm and blues to classical music, released mainly on those good old labels like Rca Victor, Philips and Colpix records.
1964 and onwards Nina took quite a dramatic political turn and dedicated the rest of her musical career to fight the civil right questions fighting the injustice against black people in America. Many of her, sometimes a bit bold and controversial opinions were clearly reflecting through her music. Compared to Martin Luther King’s non-violent approach, Nina advocated for a violent, yet non-racist, revolution for black people to rise and fight their oppressors.
Half a century later, now officially doubted the “High Priestess of the Soul”, Nina Simone has been interpreted dozen of time by modern Hip-Hop musicians including Talib Kweli and Mos Def, but also remixed and sample by a whole lot of techno and house producers.
More info: http://ninasimone.com/
The history lesson is over, now to the music:
Jay Lumen’s white label mash-up is an excellent example of how a dreamy progressive track can be lifted to a next level by adding Nina’s vocals.
Another Simone trademark track – Sinnerman has been remixed, covered and featured in commercials countless number of times. Felix Da Housecat version, released on Verve Records in 2003, is definitely the most epic one.
Finally, another whopping 13 minute long Sinnerman Dj tool was released on a limited white label in 2008 by “Unknown artist” due to copyright infringements. But the mastering fingerprints lead us to the studio of Luciano and Ricardo Villalobos. This is high quality, DJ only gear. You will have to visit (and like) our facebook page to pick this one up:
Unknown Artist – NIN (link to HMWL on Facebook)