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Sings Duke Ellington/At Carnegie Hall: Release Notes:
2 LPs on 1 CD: NINA SINGS DUKE ELLINGTON (1962)/NINA SIMONE AT CARNEGIE HALL (1963).This two-for-one CD spotlights one of jazz's great song stylists. Few singers were as unique as Nina Simone; Her deep voice and rapid vibrato made her instantly recognizable. She was also a stunning pianist, and the second half of this CD--her Carnegie Hall performance--spotlights her instrumental skills as well as her singing.Not surprisingly, NINA SINGS DUKE ELLINGTON features many classic jazz tunes. Simone sings ballads such as "I Got It Bad" and "Solitude" with intense emotional vulnerability. With the exception of Billie Holiday, few singers have such a natural gift for musical expression. NINA SIMONE AT CARNEGIE HALL is more understated and dark. Comprised of torch songs and movie themes, this album contains only ballads. This doesn't always include vocal numbers either. For example, Simone's piano is showcased extremely well on "Theme from Samson and Delilah." Simone performs this piece like a refined classical pianist, employing Chopin-esque trills and strident forearm chords. In fact, her reading of this movie theme just may be the most eyebrow-raising moment on this disc.