Although she disliked being categorized, Simone is generally classified as a jazz musician. She preferred the term "Black Classical Music" herself. Simone originally aspired to become a classical pianist, but her work covers an eclectic variety of musical styles besides her classical basis, such as jazz, soul, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop music. Her vocal style is characterized by intense passion, breathiness, and tremolo. Sometimes known as the High Priestess of Soul, she paid great attention to the musical expression of emotions. Within one album or concert she could fluctuate between exuberant happiness or tragic melancholy. These fluctuations also characterized her own personality and personal life, worsened by a bipolar disorder with which she was diagnosed in the mid-sixties, but was kept secret until 2004
Here’s an excerpt from Nina Simone’s autobiography, “I Put a Spell on You,” about her first performance experience at Midtown Bar & Grill:
"The only public performances I had ever given were classical recitals, and all my training in presentation was for the concert stage…It wasn’t hard to fit it to the improvisation because I used my voice as a third layer , complementing the other two layers, my right and left hands. When I got to the parts where I used elements of popular songs I would simply sing the lyric and play around with it, repeating single lines over again, repeating verses, changing the order of the words. It was fun.”
Nina Simone - Sinnerman
Speaking of Fun...
My girl, Fiona Bloom, tells me that Melissa ripped Atlanta a new one and I believe her. Melissa has a strong voice and soul to spare. With two shows in one week, you gotsta make at least one…for your benefit!
Melissa Young performs twice this week:
Thursday at The Nick with opening act Sharrif Simmons performing an acoustic set.
The Nick / 2514 10th Ave S/ B’ham 35205
Friday at Club Quincy with Trina Broussard and DJ Rahdu
Club Quincy / 1000 John Rodger Drive
Melissa Young – Chinese Torture
Trina Broussard – Inside My Love