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Nina Simone is known as The High Priestess Of Soul, but when carefully listened to, you discover a Baroque enthusiast. Simone dreamt to become the first African-American concert pianist in the USA but financial problems and racism had her turn to bars and clubs to play jazz, where she was forced to sing. In Simone’s music & improvisations you can distinctly hear J.S. Bach‘s impressions and even direct quotes from his fugues and preludes. Simone admired Bach for his composition. In her autobiography she recalls how her rendition of Love Me Or Leave Me came out of an attempt to compose a Bach-like Fugue. 

In this tribute Nani Vazana expands on Simone’s Bach quotations with her own classically oriented take. Seamlessly fusing pieces & songs such as the 1st invention in C into My Baby Just Cares For Me, the Arioso in G into I Loves You Porgy & the famous 1st Preludefrom the Well Tempered Clavier into He’s Got The Whole World In His Hand. Enjoy a celebration of Nina Simone & J.S. Bach, like you never heard them before.



"With a raised voice - Nani Vazana is an accomplished artist who masters all the African-American nuances and variable phrasing as stylistically confident as the intricate rhythms and pulsating riffs, for example in "Feeling Good" and "I Put A Spell On You", with which she opened the concert on her earthy trombone. It is remarkable how instinctively she shaped the rollercoaster of emotions in ballads such as "Four Women" and "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", accompanying herself on the piano, without missing Simone's exuberance of feeling. Vazana is an open and inclined entertainer who delighted the audience in her scatting melismas and even put on some dance moves on some songs. The enthusiastic audience didn't want to let her go, and called her back for 3 encores"


Original review link

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