Jazz Record Center

Nina Simone


168 pgs.
Equinox Publ. Ltd.

Nina Simone defied musical categories even as she fought against social ones and the result is a body of work that draws on classical and jazz music, country blues, French chanson, gospel, protest songs, pop and rock tunes, turning genres and styles inside out in pursuit of what Simone called 'black classical music'. This book begins with a focus on the early part of Simone's career, connecting its analysis to a discussion of social categorization. The focus then shifts to Simone's self-written protest material, and provides an in-depth account of her 'possession' of material by writers such as Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, and Judy Collins. The study proposes a theory of the 'late voice' in which issues of age, experience and memory are emphasized, before concluding with a discussion of Simone's ongoing legacy.

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