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Nina Simone: At the Village Gate

Album Reviews:

Q (9/91) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "..all her qualities are on display...she fuses jazz, classical and soul in her piano-playing.."

Album Notes

Personnel: Nina Simone (vocals, piano); Al Shackman (guitar); Chris White (bass); Rob Hamilton (drums).

Recorded live at the Village Gate, New York, New York in 1961. Includes liner notes by Billy Vera.

Personnel includes: Nina Simone (vocals); Al Shackman (guitar); Chris White (bass); Bobby Hamilton (drums).

Recorded at The Village Gate, New York, New York.

AT THE VILLAGE GATE captures the legendary Nina Simone live with her fine trio in 1961, still early in her career, at New York City's intimate Village Gate club. Simone is a musical anomaly, and her music can be very hard to categorize. She is a classically trained pianist. At times her complex piano parts call to mind Bach ("Bye Bye Blackbird"). She is a folk singer-witness her biting version of "The House of the Rising Sun." She is a gospel singer, as heard in GATE's roof-raising version of "Children Go Where I Send You." She is a jazz singer, with a finger-poppin' and shuffling version of "Just inTime." She's also a protest singer and a powerful actress capable of manipulating our fiercest emotions through song.

Simone is all these things. Moreover, she understands that only the music matters-whatever form it may take. Like smoke, her music constantly shifts shapes. Simone's eclecticism makes her a perfect artist for any time. This legendary concert document will always sound fresh and original, just as it did the night it was recorded, and her unique music will never go out of style.



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