Nina Simone - Four Women: The Nina Simone Philips Recordings
Written by Nicholas Jennings
The High Priestess of Soul gets the reissue treatment she deserves with this handsome four-CD set, featuring music recorded from 1964-66. Simone sang the songs of everyone from Cole Porter to Chuck Berry, but it’s her own work that transformed her from lounge singer to political icon: the haunting portraits of “Four Women,” the stirring gospel of “Take Me to the Water” and the African-inspired “Come Ye.” When she sings “this whole country is full of lies” on her civil rights anthem “Mississippi Goddam,” the explosive message still hits home.
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Cullum sounds positively inspired since his marriage to model-turned-author Sophie Dahl and the birth of their daughter. Eschewing jazz standards in favor of robust pop, the singer-pianist performs with infectious...