How It Feels To Be Free
February 21, 2011 2:43 PM   Subscribe

Happens to be her birthday, Feb 21st. Wonderful video.
posted by greasy_skillet at 2:50 PM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

Splendid. A wonderful song to go to bed to.
posted by mdonley at 2:52 PM on February 21, 2011

That made my afternoon - thanks!

I've never dug much deeper into her music than "My Baby Just Cares for Me" - I think because I was looking for music that swung good rather than sought to make a social statement...

Now I find out, she could do both at the same time.
posted by kevin is... at 2:53 PM on February 21, 2011

Nina Simone - Sinnerman

Chills. Every damn time.
posted by kmz at 2:55 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

In The Morning:
"Please be patient with your life
It's only morning and you're still to live your day"
posted by ChuraChura at 3:05 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

Thanks, I never knew this piece. It's gorgeous and very emotional. My personal favorite has always been Love Me or Leave Me, especially the piano solo which miraculously evolves into a Bach-style Invention around the 2 minute mark.
posted by beisny at 3:06 PM on February 21, 2011

Awesome! I think Nina Simone is completely awesome, and deserves every accolade thrown her way. Mood Indigo, Love Me or Leave Me, I Loves You Porgy, My Baby Just Cares for Me - she is simply phenomenal.

Thanks for the great post! Perfect for a semi-snowy afternoon here in Vancouver.
posted by helmutdog at 3:08 PM on February 21, 2011

Terrific post, thanks. I've never seen video of Simone; this is awesome (literally).
posted by theora55 at 3:17 PM on February 21, 2011

It's pretty impressive to see her do/feel "feelings".
posted by fake at 3:18 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Happy birthday, Nina!
posted by ambulance blues at 3:29 PM on February 21, 2011

Same song, wider stride
posted by Jofus at 3:38 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Bright before me the signs implore me
Help the needy and show them the way
Human kindness is overflowing
And I think it's going to rain today
posted by honeydew at 4:18 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Someone tap hermitosis.
posted by The Whelk at 4:36 PM on February 21, 2011

Her reading of "For All We Know" (live) usually puts a lump in my throat.

Her first recording of "Little Girl Blue" (opening with a beautiful riff on "Good King Wenceslas") is lovely, too.
posted by ryanshepard at 4:39 PM on February 21, 2011

We could sorely use her strong voice today. She could speak it.

This is one of my favorites - so steamy: A little sugar in my bowl.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:10 PM on February 21, 2011

So much great stuff. As bad as things get, always remember you've still got your liver.
posted by lex mercatoria at 5:17 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

BP, thanks for the post. I was feeling pretty sucky today with all the horrible news here and abroad and this music is just the right thing.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:28 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

I don't think there was genre of music she couldn't sing if she turned her attention to it. I suspect she is one of the most underrated singers of the 20th Century, precisely because she chose to start recording civil rights songs in her late 30s, forcing her listeners to make the choice of accepting her voice as more than a masterful interpreter of music or to reject it and her because they didn't like the message.

Her version of Pirate Jenny is the best one ever recorded, but I think her protest songs (and she turns Pirate Jenny into something akin to that) - both the one she wrote and the ones she covered - may be her biggest gift. The power and emotion and pain in her voice when she sings Mississippi Goddam or Strange Fruit or Four Women or To Be Young Gifted and Black or I Wish I Knew How It Would Be To Free provides a small but palpable sense of some measure of the pain of growing up in 20th C. America, particularly before and during the Civil Rights Movement.
posted by julen at 9:01 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thank you for posting this, I have heard some of her music but not much, and this just makes me really aware of what I have been missing. Great stuff on youtube from this festival. An amazing presence indeed.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 9:04 PM on February 21, 2011

I was lucky enough to see her play live on a beautiful May evening in Atlanta's Chastain Amphitheater, just a few years before she died. This was lovely, thank you.
posted by cilantro at 1:16 AM on February 22, 2011

My favourite album is Baltimore and My father the stand out track on it - its a cover of a Judy Collins record.
I have been lucky enogh to see her live 3 times.
The first just after the reissue of my baby just cares for me in the UK.
Saw her at Ronnie Scotts - a tiny venue in Soho - I was gobsmacked and smitten.
Thank you Nina .
posted by dprs75 at 5:20 AM on February 22, 2011

I love the way her musicianship was only there to express who she was. Very frank and unglossy she was - her righteous anger was tempered by unapologetic but steely self examination. Not as great sounding as the video in the post, but my favourite is this.
posted by hawthorne at 6:23 AM on February 22, 2011

You really need to get this whole concert from Netflix. From beginning to end it is just fascinating, even the humiliating parts - because then a moment later she'll rebound and show you what musical genius looks like at it's wildest and most charismatic.

I put together an annual screening of this movie accompanied by readings from her memoir " I Put a Spell On You," with full permission from Eagle Rock Entertainment. This year her estate intervened, and we were unable to get permission. I'm sad to have lost this tradition, but seeing the video here just reminds me of how much enjoyment I can still get from viewing the movie on my own.
posted by hermitosis at 6:49 AM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]

Four Women.
posted by safetyfork at 7:56 AM on February 22, 2011

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