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Simone, Nina - Nina Simone With Strings
Cornbread | LP | 18 €

As noted above, the singer-songwriter and pianist Nina Simone came to prominence in the late 1950s after she signed to the Bethlehem label for her debut album, Little Girl Blue, which contained the breakthrough hit "I Loves You Porgy," as well as future anthem, "My Baby Just Cares For Me." Her subsequent move to Coolpix Records, the audio subsidiary of Columbia Pictures, allowed her near total artistic control of her material and her lengthy tenure with the company brought plenty of popular album releases. The 1966 oddity Nina With Strings was issued by Coolpix a couple of years after she left the company to begin recording for Philips, a strange mix of live recordings and studio outtakes, released without her knowledge or permission, the presence of orchestral strings on several tracks gives the album its title and overriding theme. The version of "I Loves You Porgy" included here is noticeably slower than the hit version issued by Bethlehem and the sense-surround strings are suitably retarded, "Falling In Love Again," "Baubles Bangles and Beads," "Spring Is Here," "That's All" and "The Man With A Horn" are all given similarly lush orchestral arrangements, though Canonball Adderley's "Chain Gain," Simone's moving original "Blackbird" and "Porgy I Is Your Woman Now" are all present in their unadulterated forms.

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