Singular Simone

Sunday, August 07, 2021 —(In 14 days, August’s full “Sturgeon” moon will rise nearest to earth.)

Ohmigosh, I’ve just “rediscovered” Nina Simone. A new album, “Nina Simone: The Monreux Years (Live)”, newly out this year, is an amazing compilation. Simone was/is one of the best-ever musicians! I listened to her live performances through most of yesterday, and more than once the entire album, even while working with my horses.

Thinking back, it’s funny how long it took me to appreciate Simone’s musicianship. For years now, I’ve been able to recognize her incredible talent, her superb training. She’s primarily a pianist, but also a singer. She has an unique voice and perfect pitch, her ear closely is tuned to all accompanying instruments and voices.

Simone was very political, intensely angry over social conditions for American Blacks. She grew up during the Harlem Renaissance, the period that produced works by James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, and other highly talented Black Americans. Those years introduced the music of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, and John Coltrane, among others. The Renaissance provided a baseline for Simone’s intellectual and highly creative approach to musicianship, and for amazing others, like Miles Davis.

If you’re a Simone fan, download “Monreux Years” to appreciate anew her piano, voice, and politics. Today, I’ll again listen, applaud, and enjoy her.

Dear Friends: Fine art thrills, it educates, enlightens, and intertwines as essential memories. Diana

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