“Nina Simone Sings Ellington” by Nina Simone - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1962Album Chart of the Decade: 1960s

TJR says

Eleven songs, all originally composed and recorded by Duke Ellington, undoubtedly a pleasing prospect for all of Nina’s jazz fans. There’s a finger-clicking sharpness to the upbeat opener “Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me” – but I’m unmoved. If it ain’t your bag, it ain’t your bag. Normal moody character is immediately restored on “I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good)” – I remain unmoved. On “Hey, Buddy Bolden”, Nina pays tribute to the African-American cornetist, regarded by contemporaries as a key figure in the development of a New Orleans style of rag-time music, or Jass, which later came to be known as jazz. I get where she’s comin’ from but still, I remain unmoved. I’m reminded, when the jaunty novelty “Merry Mending” kicks in, that there is an incredible variety in Nina Simone’s works – she’s awfully difficult to categorize. It’s one of her great artistic strengths – even if often alienates me. “I Like the Sunrise”, my favourite track on the LP, is typical of Nina’s unpredictability. Her classical roots are on show in this choral singing extravaganza. All three of my favourite tracks appear on Side 2; “The Gal from Joe’s” is a snappy little Fever-esque number and album closer “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” is delivered with a biff-bang-pow which finishes the set on a happy note.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:50] 4.2.png Nina Simone - Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me (Edward Ellington, Bob Russell) Jazz
A2 [04:06] 3.8.png Nina Simone - I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good) (Edward Ellington, Paul Francis Webster) Songwriter
A3 [02:28] 3.7.png Nina Simone - Hey, Buddy Bolden (Edward Ellington, Billy Strayhorn) Jazz
A4 [02:35] 5.0.png Nina Simone - Merry Mending (Edward Ellington) Crooner / Cabaret
A5 [02:55] 2.8.png Nina Simone - Something To Live For (Edward Ellington, Billy Strayhorn) Songwriter
A6 [02:24] 4.1.png Nina Simone - You Better Know It (Edward Ellington) Jazz
B1 [03:01] 7.2.png Nina Simone - I Like The Sunrise (Edward Ellington) Operatic / Choral
B2 [03:45] 3.1.png Nina Simone - Solitude [1962 album version] (Edward Ellington, Eddie DeLange, Irving Mills) Crooner / Cabaret
B3 [02:08] 6.4.png Nina Simone - The Gal From Joe’s (Edward Ellington, Irving Mills) Jazz
B4 [03:37] 3.6.png Nina Simone - Satin Doll (Edward Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Billy Strayhorn) Jazz
B5 [02:33] 5.4.png Nina Simone - It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) (Edward Ellington, Irving Mills) Big Band / Jive / Swing

© The Jukebox Rebel 2005-2020 All Rights Reserved