4/19/2005 12:40:00 PM|||peter patnaik|||
My first draw to the work of Nina Simone (beyond Sinnerman, I guess) was that she sang lots of Billie Holiday songs, and not just the song book Holiday, the few songs that Holiday is credited with writing. My favorite Nina Simone version of a Billie Holiday penned song is "Tell Me Some More and More And Then Some" from her 1965 Pastel Blues. Nina translate into a soft sultry blues number, something that Holiday hints at, but Holiday poses her self as more tragic and a woman that has lost far more than she's gained.

Don't Explain is one of my favorite jazz songs of all time, Billie Holiday's voice on this late live recording isn't as broken as it would be on her last two LPs, but the effects of her life are clearly heard. "You Are My Joy And Pain" are some of the finest written. Nina Simone's version is along the same lines, much more heartbroken than angry, which is how I interpret Holiday's version.

Nina Simone - Tell Me Some More and More And Then Some
Billie Holiday - Tell Me Some More and More And Then Some

Nina Simone - Don't Explain
Billie Holiday - Don't Explain
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