Eunice Kathleen Waymon recorded more than 40 albums over a long, distinguished career that stretched for five decades. As Nina Simone, her distinctive mellifluous voice honed a career catagorized variously as a jazz singer, soul singer and folk artist; she was all of these — and more. "Little Girl Blue“ was Nina Simone's debut release. Bethlehem founder Gus Wildi, taken with the uniquely beautiful quality of her voice, gave her complete control over song selection, backing musicians, arrangements and production of the recording. For this new Analogue Productions reissue of "Little Girl Blue“ we've upped the ante. A single pocket jacket to suffice? No. We've done the lady right with a heavy Stoughton Printing tip-on gatefold jacket featuring gorgeous color photos of Nina from a glamorous stage performance. And the peerless mastering by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound in New York sounds incredible. Then top it off with 200-gram Quality Record Pressings vinyl that is unsurpassingly silent and gives incredibly rich playback. As the liner notes say, there are plenty of musical singers who vocalize well and have an individual style but who never cross that thin and hard-to-define line that separates a good 'pop‘ style from one that is jazz. The first few notes of this record will immediately confirm Nina's jazz credentials. As she said, »You got to get to people.« That she does with a vibrant and husky contralto that tonally sounds like a blend of an unlikely combination of Marian Anderson and Ma Rainey. Her unusual combination of classical training, the ecstatic and serious quality of gospel church music that influenced her vocal delivery, and the funky and modern schools of jazz with which she came into close contact all made for an inspiring singer and instrumentalist. For "Little Girl Blue“, Nina and her rhythm section recorded the entire album plus three additional tracks in just one session. In her biography of Nina, Nadine Cohodas recounts engineer Irv Greeenbaum's recollection of that day: »Nothing like Nina's artistry had ever happened before ... Her voice and the keyboard playing were so rich and interesting that they could have stood alone.« "Little Girl Blue“ documents Nina Simone's unparalleled and idiosyncratic musical persona at a particularly vibrant, formative stage, and helped launch her on a trajectory with more than its share of personal and professional trials and triumphs.
Nina Simone: Little Girl Blue (45rpm-edition)
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