LP Label: Get Back GET 92004
Even if this reissue of Nina Simone's 1957 debut on Bethlehem Records were only marginally better than the original, I would still not hesitate for one second to make it a must-have. Why?
Quite simply, because it is so much better than the garbage passing as "jazz" today.
Perhaps this needs to be repeated until it finally penetrates people's thick skulls, but Diana Krall and Norah Jones are not jazz vocalists. The ability to perform pre-packaged time honored standards does not make one a singer. Jazz requires real strength and emotion and neither of the aforementioned could pass the mustard at the 2nd Avenue Deli, let alone cut the mustard with the lyrics of Ellington.
Perhaps, what made Nina Simone so unique, was that not only did she have something different to say, but could pull it off with her playing and vocal ability. Krall and Jones merely play.
While it would be many decades before "My Baby Just Cares for Me" became a hit for Simone, her interpretations of "Moon Indigo," and "Good Bait" were uniquely emotional and it was her version of Gershwin's "I Loves You, Porgy" which would bring her the first taste of success.
The reissue comes pressed on red vinyl and does sound almost as good as the original pressing.