Nina Simone, Nina Simone: The Tomato Collection

Kandia Crazy Horse

By Kandia Crazy Horse

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Nina Simone: The Tomato Collection

Nina Simone

Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in Tryon, NC, the late jazzy chanteuse and pianist known as Nina Simone is an icon in the black community — even after her eventual "defection" to France, where she lived out the remainder of her life — particularly (and to the world at large as well) for her post-war refresh of the vocal jazz aesthetic and her activism. However, despite tending to be classified as a jazz or sometimes a soul artist, Simone's music is truly unclassifiable, swinging as it does from hillbilly classics ("Cotton-Eyed Joe") to pop to blues ("House of the Rising Sun") to standards and island folk ("See Line Woman"). (The gem is the rockin '"No Opportunity Necessary," also done brilliantly by Richie Havens.)