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The Nina Simone Database

The Amazing + At Town Hall
Additional discography

Collectables COL 6206 (1999 US)

Two LPs in one CD: The Amazing and At Town Hall.
Tracks sorted by number (sort by session or by title)
 1 [3:22] Blue Prelude   Joe Bishop, Gordon Jenkins

 2 [2:52] Children Go Where I Send You   Traditional

 3 [3:02] Tomorrow (We Will Meet Once More)   Gale, Silverman

 4 [2:11] Stompin' At the Savoy   Benny Goodman, Andy Razaf, Edgar Sampson, Chick Webb

 5 [3:56] It Might As Well Be Spring   Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers

 6 [2:13] You've Been Gone Too Long   Brother John Sellers

 7 [2:31] That's Him Over There   Marilyn Bergman, Lew Spence

 8 [2:43] Chilly Winds Don't Blow   H. Krasnow, B. Lovelock

 9 [2:30] Theme from "Middle of the Night"   George Bassman, Chayefsky

 10 [2:33] Can't Get Out of This Mood   Loesser, Jimmy McHugh

 11 [3:14] Willow Weep for Me   Ann Ronell

 12 [3:28] Solitaire   King Guion, Renee Borek, Carl Nutter

 13 [3:32] Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair   Traditional

 14 [3:14] Exactly Like You   Dorothy Fields, Jimmy McHugh

 15 [3:01] The Other Woman   Jessie Mae Robinson

 16 [5:32] Under the Lowest   Nina Simone

 17 [5:49] You Can Have Him (I Don't Want Him)   Irving Berlin

 18 [2:54] Summertime   George Gershwin, DuBose Heyward instrumental

 19 [2:43] Summertime   George Gershwin, DuBose Heyward

 20 [2:53] Cotton-Eyed Joe   Traditional

 21 [5:28] Return Home   Nina Simone

 22 [3:29] Wild Is the Wind   Dimitri Tiomkin, Ned Washington with overdubbed applause

 23 [3:31] Fine and Mellow   Billie Holiday

Liner Notes by David Nathan
There's no question that Nina Simone's extraordinary talent as a musician, singer, songwriter and performer has singled her out as a legend in her own time. No matter which musical genre she chooses - be it folk, blues, jazz, soul or gospel - Nina Simone has the ability to invest every single piece of material with her own fiercely unique style. She does not compromise; her artistry is paramount; and she always delivers with relentless passion, heart and soul. Unafraid to venture into virtually any musical territory, Nina's recorded legacy spans some 35 years and the ten albums she cut for Colpix Records from 1959 to 1963 are a definitive representation of Nina's vast scope as an artist.

Born Eunice Waymon in Tryon, North Carolina, in 1933, the woman who would become Nina Simone in the '50s was playing classical pieces on the family piano at the age of seven. Blessed with perfect pitch, young Eunice was clearly a child prodigy and with the assistance of a fund provided by neighbors in the small town, she was able to further her studies, eventually attending the famed Juilliard School of Music in New York. Eunice and her family had relocated to Philadelphia in the early '50s and looking for ways to supplement her income as a private music tutor, Eunice ventured to Atlantic City to play piano at one of the New Jersey town's nightclubs. The first night she was hired, the club owner asked her to sing…and overnight, Eunice Waymon became Nina Simone…Nina, Spanish for "little girl" and Simone after French actress Simone Signoret!
Word spread up and down the Eastern seaboard about a new singer and musician who could give breath new life into jazz and pop tunes of the day and in 1959, Nina cut her first record for the Bethlehem label, a distinctive version of "I Loves You, Porgy" from the Gershwin musical "Porgy & Bess." It became a Top 10 national hit and after cutting one album for the label, Nina was signed by Colpix Records, the recording division of Columbia Pictures.

Nina stayed with Colpix until 1963, moving to Philips Records where she recorded seven albums and broadened her appeal to include European audiences who loved her honest approach and uncompromising artistry. Nina's stand on civil rights and equality were self-evident through much of the material she recorded for the label and she continued to focus on relevant social issues after signing a new contract with RCA Records in 1967. With the label, she achieved even greater international visibility thanks to hit singles like "Ain't Got No - I Got Life," "To Love Somebody" and "To Be Young, Gifted & Black."
Nina spent much of the '70s and '80s traveling the globe, living at various times in The Caribbean, Liberia, Switzerland, Holland, and the UK. She performed consistently, occasionally recording for different labels including CTI and enjoying a renaissance in 1987 when a 1959 recording, "My Baby Just Cares For Me" was used for a European advertising campaign and became a British Top10 hit in the process. A number of Nina's recordings were used in the soundtrack for the '90s film "Point of No Return" and her last album "A Single Woman" was issued by Elektra in 1993. Variously described personally as quirky, eccentric, unpredictable and other-worldly, Nina Simone currently makes her home in the South of France.

The original liner notes for her first Colpix album THE AMAZING NINA SIMONE proclaim that the then 26-year old musician, singer and songwriter would "emerge this year as the greatest new singing talent to hit the recording field in a decade." Certainly, the writer had good reason for such enthusiasm: the 1959 release came hot on the heels of Nina's first and biggest Top 10 hit "I Loves You, Porgy" and it provided a perfect snapshot for the diversity of music that would constitute Nina Simone's repertoire. The range of musical idioms covered on the LP was indeed unparalleled: Nina picked everything from Rodgers & Hammerstein's "It Might As Well Be Spring" to the traditional spiritual "Chilly Winds Don't Blow" dipping into the movie world for the poignant "Theme From The Middle of The Night" and into torch song territory for "Solitaire," "Blue Prelude," and "That's Him Over There." Other highlights included the bluesy "Willow Weep For Me," the jazzy "Stompin' at the Savoy," and the rousing gospel classic "Children Go Where I Send You."

Torch songs also made up a good proportion of the repertoire Nina performed in the dimly-lit smoke-filled nightclubs where she got her start. As auspicious, highly acclaimed debut performance at one of New York's most prestigious venues was also an opportunity for her to reprise some of those tunes: the recording of NINA SIMONE AT TOWN HALL on September 15, 1959 included "The Other Woman," and "You Can Have Him," two classic songs daling with love and infidelity, "Exactly Like You" and "Fine and Mellow," from the songbook of one of Nina's favorite artists, the legendary Billie Holiday. Showcasing her dexterity as a pianist, the album also included the instrumentals "Under the Lowest" and "Return Home" and an instrumental segue into Nina's beautiful rendition of "Summertime" from "Porgy & Bess." Nina turned the Norwegian folk tune "Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair" into a moving epic and "Wild is the Wind" was given the kind of dramatic reading that was typically Nina.