The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The Art of Jazz #99

The Amazing Nina Simone
(Colpix Records; 1959)


Inspired By Postcards said...

Nina Simone was amazing. Her voice reminds me of candles and sugar. With a hint of rage.

Tom Sutpen said...

Beautifully said.

dola said...

Man that image is so interesting. How does the chair even hold up? She (still) expects from you.

Arthur Gilroy said...


Never an empty note or word.

Of how many singers can that be said?

Amália Rodrigues.

Om Kalthoum

Celia Cruz

Bessie Smith

Billie Holiday

No men to speak of. Except of course the serious blues singers. And Bob Dylan before he lost it. And a bunch of Northern Indian sufi singers.


Nina was very deep.

Ever hear "The Human Touch"? On the recording "Nina Simone And Piano!"?




Kreisler said...

I don't know - there's something strained in Nina Simone's singing, too much hyperbole, the disappointed classicist.

Buster Stronghart said...

Nina: Impossible to stop listening. I hear her even in my dreams.

swac said...

I have this one on vinyl, great stuff. Just a month or so ago I found a Sony DualDisc that was called a greatest hits or a best of, but turned out to be a pretty oddball assortment of tracks, all terrific of course. The bonus was the DVD side, with a wide array of video clips, including her Ed Sullivan appearance. Such a completely riveting performer, and one of the greatest interpreters of song I've ever encountered.