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The Nina Simone Database

Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Quality compilations

Mercury 834 308-2 (1988 NL)

Also available on LP 834308-1.
Tracks sorted by number (sort by session or by title)
 1 [2:48] Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood   Bennie Benjamin, Gloria Caldwell, Sol Marcus

 2 [3:07] The Last Rose of Summer   Thomas Moore, Nina Simone

 3 [3:37] Ne Me Quitte Pas   Jacques Brel

 4 [3:09] Work Song   Nat Adderley, Oscar Brown jr

 5 [2:34] Little Girl Blue   Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers edited version

 6 [2:44] Trouble in Mind   Richard Jones

 7 [3:31] Strange Fruit   Lewis Allan, Sonny White piano and vocal only

 8 [4:08] Love Me or Leave Me   Walter Donaldson, Gus Kahn

 9 [3:39] Come Ye   Nina Simone

 10 [2:37] I Put a Spell on You   Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Slotkin sax solo by Jerome Richardson

 11 [4:22] Don't Explain   Arthur Herzog jr, Billie Holiday

 12 [7:01] Wild Is the Wind   Dimitri Tiomkin, Ned Washington

 13 [2:51] What More Can I Say   W. Brown jr, Horace Ott with Orace Hott orchestra

 14 [2:40] Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out   Jimmie Cox

 15 [2:31] I Loves You Porgy   George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, DuBose Heyward

 16 [4:52] Mississippi Goddam   Nina Simone standard studio version

Liner Notes by Imme Schade van Westrum

The demand for pure artist is growing. A demand for artist who are convincing without using the latest trends or studio computers. Artists with a story, sound, and personality who need rely on neither decibels nor video clips. in other words, an artist such as Nina Simone. Pianist, singer, song-writer. And, by now, something of 'classic'.
And just how timeless her work is was recently proved yet again: without any support from television appearances her recording (dating from the 'fifties) of "My Baby Just Cares for Me" raced up the charts and overtook with ease recordings by George Michael and Michael jackson.

Nina Simone is not simply for one (her own) generation. Generation after generation rediscover both her and her music. her roots go back to Tyron [sic], North Carolina. Here, on February 21, 1933, Nina Simone was born as Eunice Kathleen Waymon. Her family was, she remembers, 'the poorest of the poor'. And her path in life was, to say the least, unusual. She arrived, via performances on the church organ, in the world.famous Juilliard School of Music in New York. Her aim was clear: to become a classical concert pianist. yet lack of money forced her not only to give lessons to aspiring juniors, but also to perform from midnight to six in jazz clubs.

In order to ensure that her nocturnal activities did not offend the parents of her young pupils, Eunice Waymon adopted the name of Nina Simone--a name that would eventually erase for good that of Eunice Waymon. But Eunice is still here. The almost theatrical sound of her voice initially caused critics to draw a comparison with Billie Holiday and Judy Garland. And although in her coiche of repertoire Nina mau have reflected Lady Day ("Strange Fruit", "Don't Explain", and "I Loves You Porgy"), she soon proved that she was an individual. A powerful individual at that.

She didn't choose the shortest and easiest way to the top. She shunned the party that 'commercialism' could have given for her, and chose instead to develop a broad artistic personality. And this is demonstrated here, in this new compilation Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood. You simply can't pigeon-hole Nina Simone. She has built up her own traditions in an inventive and often surprising way. You can trace influences from blues, gospel, jazz, folk, and even, in the extended piano chorus of "Love me or leave me",   of Johann Sebastian Bach. She pours intensity into a standard (George Gershwin's "I Loves You Porgy"). gives a Screamin' Jay Howkins interpretation of "I Put a Spell on You", and flirts with French chanson in Jacques Brel's "Ne Me Quitte Pas".

And while all these styles may spell diversity, when Nina sings them they result in unity. They become irreplaceable items in the Nina Simone Songbook. Each time subjected ti new ideas, new interpretations, new values. And although the words and notes are not exclusive property, Nina Simone still finds ways of telling the world, whether in Carnegie Hall or the Royal Albert Hall, her own, unique story. And then yet another side to Nina Simone: her social, activist side. Her own composition "Mississippi Goddam" symbolies once and for all her affinity with the Black Civil Rights movement.

Nina Simone, that true song stylist, has her story to tell. And "The high priestess of soul" makes sure, through her supreme artistry, that she will 'never be misunderstood'.