“Folksy Nina” by Nina Simone - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1964Album Chart of the Decade: 1960s

TJR says

Nina’s final LP for Colpix Records was, for me, her best yet. For the fifth time, her latest offering was recorded all-live in concert. As with the preceding “At Carnegie Hall”, the album’s selections come from her performance on the 12th April '63 at New York’s Carnegie Hall. One track, “The Twelfth of Never”, repeats from that LP. Thoughtfully, the selections here were loosely chosen with a sensibility towards Nina’s folksier inclinations; not unsurprisingly I consider it to be her strongest album to date. Objectivity in my ratings system is negligible! The well written liner notes provide some insight: “The highpoint of any Nina Simone concert or night club engagement is the introduction of a folk song that she has discovered and added to her performance. While she has occasionally included folk material in her previous albums, this is her first LP exclusively devoted to folk songs. Folksy Nina presents the extremely talented Nina Simone in a program entirely composed of folk ballads and blues. Her selections vary in tempo and style from tender and lyrical readings to her well-known exciting and driving vocal expressions. Nina Simone has chosen old English, Israeli, Low Country and American Blues and traditional tunes. She also includes an interesting instrumental done in an intriguing 574 tempo. Together, the songs in Folksy Nina convey moods of humor (“Silver City Bound”), wistfulness (“The Twelfth of Never”), ribald wit (“The Young Knight”) and beauty (“Hush Little Baby” and “Mighty Lak A Rose”). Underlying her interpretations there is always the superb artistry of an incomparable vocalist and musician. Her fans will find Nina Simone more than up to standard. Those who are less acquainted with her will experience a thrilling performance. Nina Simone sings folk music with a commanding authenticity uniquely influenced by varying degrees of jazz. As always, she is completely distinctive. A new side of Nina Simone is shown in her rendition of “Lass of the Low Country”. Often, during a Nina Simone selection, the listener's attention is divided between her vocal and piano techniques. In this delivery, however, she concentrates on singing, and the result is one of the finest moments in Folksy Nina.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [05:08] 5.6.png Nina Simone - Silver City Bound [live ny ’63] (Alan Lomax, Huddie Ledbetter) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A2 [05:57] 6.3.png Nina Simone - When I Was A Young Girl [live ny ’63] (Sebastian Mure) Alternative Folk
A3 [02:27] 6.6.png Nina Simone - Erets Zavat Chalav [live ny ’63] (Eliahu Gamliel) Folk
A4 [06:15] 5.5.png Nina Simone - Lass Of The Low Country [live ny ’63] (Traditional) Folk
B1 [05:25] 8.8.png Nina Simone - The Young Knight [live ny ’63] (Joseph Hathaway, Charles Kingsley) Folk
B2 [03:33] 4.0.png Nina Simone - The Twelfth Of Never [live ny ’63] (Paul Francis Webster, Jerry Livingston) Songwriter
B3 [04:25] 4.7.png Nina Simone - Vanehitu [live ny ’63] (Gil Aldema) Folk
B4 [03:05] 5.6.png Nina Simone - You Can Sing A Rainbow [live ny ’63] (Ethelbert Nevin, Frank Lebby Stanton) Songwriter
B5 [07:11] 5.5.png Nina Simone - Hush, Little Baby [live ny ’63] (Pete Seeger) Folk

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