This is a tribute to the legendary singer by the acclaimed CA based experimental outfit. Can’t fault the songs selected – All were great when sung either originally by Nina Simone or by earlier artists. This is a new take on the songs, original & fresh, although at times it tends to feel like a Tom Waits tribute of a tribute.
Bringing Nina Simone to a new audience has to be a good thing. If you like Jamie Stuarts voice, then you’ll probably like this more than others though – It can be an acquired taste & maybe over emotional at times. The music makes up for it – Jazzy / Bluesy elements all shining through.
All good & definitely worth playing:
1) Don’t Smoke In Bed (4.48) Steamy & sticky. Wonderful music.
2) Don’t Explain (4.28) Smoldering slow jazzy richness. Panting vocals over clippety clop percussion.
3) Wild is The Wind (6.07) The music is again the winner here in this great adaptation – As dirty & low as it gets.
4) Where Can I Go Without You? (4:07) Warm & charming, stripped down to the bone.
5) See Line Woman (2.36) Stays sort of faithful to Nina’s cover, funked up & spaced out. Tip Top. More up beat than the rest.
6) Just Say I Love Him (3.26) More assessable than the other tracks, Slow-mid paced. Good introduction.
7) Four Women (4.13) It’s pretty impossible to beat the original. Large jazz sound on display. All over the place at times.
8) Pirate Jenny (5.53) Lots of versions of this one available. This is ok – The weakest track for me. It’s bold & brassy as well as slow & passionate. It does have some interesting synth sounds going on in the background. No FCC’s but can be mistaken at times for it.
9) You’d Be So Nice (3.50) Saxophone mayhem.
10) The Other Woman (2.55) Mellow moments with guitar accompaniment.
11) Flo Me La (6.53) This opens like a Film Noire soundtrack & then into a more upbeat mode - plenty going on musically. I love this up until the avant-garde nature takes it away – But others will appreciate it I’m sure – It gets back on track for the final third. Standout track (apart from the middle)