Donnerstag, 1. April 2021

Nina Simone - Forbidden Fruit (1961)

The remarkable Nina Simone ranks alongside Bessie Smith, Billie Holliday and Ella Fitzgerald as one of the great voices of black music. Not only that, but she ranks alongside James Brown in the music world as a proponent of civil rights, a cause she espoused from early in her career after being rejected by Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute on, she felt, racial grounds.

Born Eunice Waymon in North Carolina in 1933, she showed an early aptitude for both organ and piano which led to her attending New York’s Juilliard School of Music. She started moonlighting from her classical studies to make a living as a singer. Her stage name combined Nina (‘little one’, a nickname from an Hispanic boyfriend) with Simone (borrowed from French actress Simone Signoret). A night-club date in Atlantic City saw her signed by the Bethlehem label, and the first session yielded the Billie Holiday-inspired US Top 20 hit ‘I Loves You Porgy’.
Forbidden Fruit is an album by Jazz singer/pianist/songwriter Nina Simone. It was her second studio album for Colpix and was released in 1961.

Recorded in New York with producer Cal Lampley in 1961 and released that same year, ‘Forbidden Fruit’ was an eclectic mix. The ten tracks of the original release include three compositions from the outrageously talented Oscar Brown Jr, including the title track and the opening ‘Rags And Old Iron’. ‘Gin House Blues’ would become a chart item in the hands of Amen Corner in 1967, while Nina herself would revisit the song on 1968’s ‘Nuff Said’ album. She also re-recorded Oscar Brown’s ‘Work Song’ on several occasions and in different musical settings, its tale of an oppressive chain gang clearly resonating.

The instrumental trio of Chris White (bass), Al Schackman (guitar) and Bob Hamilton (drums) provide sympathetic backing to Simone’s voice and piano. Schackman in particular shines on ‘Just Say I Love Him’ and the previously mentioned ‘Rags And Old Iron’.

The original sleeve note of ‘Forbidden Fruit’, when released on vinyl, read as follows: ‘In “Forbidden Fruit”, Nina Simone sings of people in love and the circumstances that sometimes keep them from it. While some of the songs are conventional in the sense that their melodies are haunting and in the love song tradition, others are concerned more with the realities of troubled love… This album, more than ever, proves Nina’s amazing versatility and stamps her again as one of the great talents of our time.’

Music trade journal Billboard was enthusiastic about its sales potential, stating in its 5 June edition: ‘While this excellent album features mostly vocal stylings, there are spots which showcase the gal’s powerful piano technique. The act should go well with her many fans and could make a distinctive pop-jazz item.’

  1. “Rags and Old Iron” (Norman Curtis, Oscar Brown, Jr)
  2. “No Good Man” (Dan Fisher, Irene Higginbotham, Sammy Gallop)
  3. “Gin House Blues” (Fletcher Henderson, Henry Troy)
  4. “I’ll Look Around” (Cross, Cory)
  5. “I Love to Love” (Baker, Hayton)
  6. “Work Song”
  7. “Where Can I Go Without You” (Peggy Lee, Victor Young)
  8. “Just Say I Love Him” (Val, Dale, Kalmanoff, Ward, Enzo Fusco, Rodolfo Falvo)
  9. “Memphis in June” (Paul Francis Webster, Hoagy Carmichael)
  10. “Forbidden Fruit” (Oscar Brown, Jr)

Nina Simone - Forbidden Fruit (1961)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

6 Kommentare:

Anonym hat gesagt…

Beautiful album! I much prefer listening to her in a small group setting than with an orchestra. Thanks for sharing this.

zero hat gesagt…

You are welcome! Greetings...

muddyw123 hat gesagt…


zero hat gesagt…

All the best to you!

Anonym hat gesagt…

I love your taste in music. Thanks!

zero hat gesagt…

Thanks a lot, you are welcome!

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