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New York, NY 10001
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On May 13, 2008, another generation of talent released her first solo album nationwide. Her name is Simone and she is the daughter of the legendary musical icon Nina Simone. She is her own woman, a singer, songwriter and performer whose ability to transcend genres echoes the tradition of her mother.
With the upcoming release of her first full-length album on High Priestess/KOCH, Simone On Simone (a big band tribute to her mother produced by famed jazz musician and arranger Bob Belden), music lovers worldwide will discover the vocal dynamism that live audiences have witnessed for over a decade. Fortunate to have gotten over fifty of her mother’s original arrangements, Simone began working with producer Bob Belden (whose credits include work with Woody Herman, Donald Byrd, Mel Lewis and Dianne Reeves and extensive credits as a premier jazz reissue producer) on the recording project, culling eleven songs from Nina Simone’s repertoire, including one live performance on which her mother accompanied her and featuring one poignant and highly personal song, “Child In Me” which Simone fondly refers to as “my love song to my mother.”
She succeeds admirably turning in tour-de-force performances on little-known gems from her mother’s recorded repertoire such as “Keeper Of The Flame,” “I Hold No Grudge” and “Don’t You Pay Them No Mind” (all from Nina Simone’s 1966 LP High Priestess Of Soul) as well as the reworking of such classics as “Feeling Good,” “Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair” (given a completely new and original twist), “Work Song,” the spirited “(You’ll) Go To Hell” and swinging versions of “Love Me Or Leave Me” and Duke Ellington’s “Gal From Joe’s.” Rounding out her first of many future albums: “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free” (the Billy Taylor tune closely identified with her mother as one of the potent message songs which were so much a part of Nina Simone’s catalog of music with themes of freedom, self-empowerment and justice for all) and “How Long Must I Wander,” a plaintive song that speaks to Simone’s own formative years traveling across the globe with her mother.
Chuck Mitchell, KOCH Vice President of Jazz/Adult Music, states, “There are extremely rare occasions when you come across a musical performer and say to yourself: ‘This artist can do anything!’ Simone has inherited her mother’s charisma, but when she sings you immediately realize that she stands out on her own. We expect to hear Simone in a variety of musical settings going forward…this is just the beginning.”