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Nina Simone – Little Girl Blue (Pure Pleasure)

Condition: Brand New
Ships from: Melbourne


"Little Girl Blue", released in 1957, was Nina Simone's first record, originally released by Bethlehem. With the support of bassist Jimmy Bond and Albert 'Tootie' Heath, Simone presents her mysterious and sensual sounding melodious voice, her lively and sovereign jazz style as well as a profound and down-to-earth feeling, which is nevertheless tasteful. The album also features an outstanding jazz pianist

Simone was an expert improviser, but never far from the blues. The opening piece is a good proof, her interpretation of Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo", which in a way snaps and swings with the fingers, while the phrasing remains deep in the blues. As a contrast, a version - if not the ultimate - of Willard Robison's hot ballad on the theme 'Leave the Beloved' follows, "Don't Smoke in Bed". The title track, written by Rodgers & Hart, is "Good King Wenceslas" as a classic prelude to one of the most beautiful pop ballads ever written. It follows in the funky swing "Love Me Or Leave Me" with a glowing little piano solo in the transition, where Bach meets Horace Silver and Bobby Timmons. It is also interesting to note that, although this was Simone's first recording, an artist is presented who appears on stage matured to full size; many characteristics that have distinguished Simone throughout her career not only as a singer and pianist, but also as an arranger, can be seen here for the first time. "My Baby Just Cares For Me" has a wide shuffle, which is continued in the interlude of the piano. Her skills, both on the instrument and in improvising, are best used in Tadd Dameron's "Good Bait", which is transformed from the originally intended bebop to a classical piece. "You'll Never Walk Alone" is more like a majestic gospel song than the musical melody originally written by Rodgers & Hammerstein. And of course one of Simone's signature melodies was her version of "I Loves You, Porgy", which can be heard here for the first time and was released as a single. Her own "Central Park Blues" is one of the most beautiful jazz melodies on this record

Recorded: 1957


AllMusic rating:
AllMusic users:
(228 votes)

Release details

Label: Pure Pleasure Records, Bethlehem Records
Format: LP, Album, Mono, Remastered, Limited Edition
Units: 1
Country: UK
Released: 2013
Genre: Jazz
Style: Soul-Jazz


A1 Mood Indigo
A2 Don'T Smoke In Bed
A3 He Needs Me
A4 Little Girl Blue
A5 Love Me Or Leave Me
A6 My Baby Just Cares For Me
B1 Good Bait
B2 Plain Gold Ring
B3 You'Ll Never Walk Alone
B4 Porgy
B5 Central Park Blues