Nina Simone -- Remixed & Reimagined (RCA/Legacy)

Nina Simone's name rolls off most people's tongues in the most mythical sort of way. Having a classical education from Juilliard during Jim Crow already made this black woman half-beast, an impl

Share on Nextdoor
 
Nina Simone — Remixed & Reimagined



Nina Simone's name rolls off most people's tongues in the most mythical sort of way. Having a classical education from Juilliard during Jim Crow already made this black woman half-beast, an implicit larger-than-life figure, who, in Lauren Hill's self-comparison, "defecated on the microphone." Exalted as the high priestess of Soul, her music often fired directly at America, but from a higher consciousness that blasphemed racism in songs like "Mississippi Goddam" and forebode that Americans plagued by capitalism, would "die, die, die like flies." America struggled, not only with her revolutionary spirit, but to pin her sound into a category; had she sounded more like Diana Ross than a sober Lady Day serving a pot of black coffee that jarred people, she would've enjoyed mainstream success. Judging from these notions, the Pop Machine could not consume her, so she continued pushing buttons until she expatriated in the 1970s. Stateside, she was embraced in discos by underground DJs who followed her liberating Soul. Refreshed for 2006, Remixed and Reimagined takes to task the weighty ambition of assembling and reconstructing selections from Simone's 1967-1974 RCA catalog into contemporary dance remixes. For the most part, R&R is an insurrection that seems to "get" a woman whose message was complicated by her race and gender, best heard on DJ Logic's version of "Obeah Woman" and Lenny B's seductively imagined, "The Look of Love." A few remixes seem too sedate for Simone, and the absence of "Young, Gifted and Black" is noticeable, but overall her integrity stays. (Mildred C. Fallen) Grade B+

Available at Shake It Records - Click here to buy

Scroll to read more News Feature articles

Newsletters

Join CityBeat Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.