Tuesday, April 22, 2003

RIP Nina Simone

i will tell a quick Nina Simone story in memory of her. when i worked in the jazz room of the cambridge HMV i knew not a whole lot about jazz, in fact, i fudged through the "jazz room application test" thanks to my limited knowledge of the marsalis brothers and billie holiday. i worked three nights a week during which i had the whole jazz room, as well as the sound system at my disposal. i was making my way alphabetically through the room, trying to get to know the heavy hitters, when I happened upon an opened "Wild is the Wind/ High Priestess" in the "D" section (Miss Simone was usually kept on the Rock Floor in the "Vocals" section.). When I heard "I love your lovin' ways" I was a goner and ever since I have been a little in love In fact, the whole time I worked at HMV I usually only played Nina. It got to the point that when someone at the front desk would ask "Who's working in Jazz": they just needed to listen and see if Nina Simone was playing and they would know if it was me or not. Perhaps it was a bit of an obsession.... Her version of "To Love SOmebody" is breathtaking and her voice is so distinctively mellow, there is no mistaking it. And of course, we can't help but love the fact that at her home in France, she had a propensity towards shooting a bb gun at small children when they made too much noise outside her house. Succinctly: She Rocked.

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