Wednesday, August 12, 2015

WHAT HAPPENED MISS SIMONE


This year has put a long overdue spotlight on one of the most distinctive and influential musicians in pop music history. Nina Simone is the subject of a new Netflix documentary, "What Happened, Miss Simone?" which is directed by award-winning film maker, Liz Garbus with the singer's daughter, Lisa Simone serving as an executive producer. The film uses concert footage and interviews, some never seen or heard previously, to explore the passionate, difficult and complicated life of the North Carolina native. Simone was an extraordinary gifted but moody performer who actively defied musical categories. She mesmerized audiences with the sheer force of her talent, using her voice to not only entertain but inspire and stir protest.



In celebration of this film, a new album, "Nina Revisited: A Tribute To Nina Simone" features the songs made famous by Ms Simone recorded by several contemporary artists. Some of the musicians involved include Mary J. Blige, Usher, Common with Lalah Hathaway and Lisa Simone but the highlight is the very welcome return of Ms Lauryn Hill. She is on six of the thirteen tracks with Hill impressively breathing fresh new life in to some of Simone's signature tunes such as "Wild Is The Wind", "Ne Me Quitte Pas" and "Feeling Good". This collection perfectly honors the legacy of this quite special and unique performer.

Listen to rising jazz artist, Gregory Porter (who was heard early this year on a dance track for the upcoming Disclosure album) doing a radical but fascinating re-working of the Nina Simone classic, "Sinnerman":

"Sinnerman" - Gregory Porter (2015) mp3

Enjoy this electric performance of "Feeling Good" by Ms Lauryn Hill:

RANDOM SIGHTS + SOUNDS

First up, here are some interesting music videos I like: After taking some time off to get married and have her first child...