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April 22, 2024

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Nina Simone
The Tomato Collection (Tomato Records)

By: Mark A. Lawrence the IV

I admit, before I threw this 2-disc collection into the stereo, I didn't have much exposure to the hypnotic voice that is Nina Simone. The way her voice can be a soft breeze moving through the room on the Jazzy "Cotton Eyed Joe" or rattle the walls as in her rendition of "It Don't Mean a Thing." Amazingly Simone defies the boundaries of musical classification, successfully holding her own in several styles appearing as masterful in each one. From Jazz, to Soul, to Afro-infused rhythmic songs like "See Line Woman," this collecting provides a great assortment of her wide range and acts as a wonderful echo of a voice that left us earlier this year. Like Billy Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and modern day Toni Lynn Washington, and Kathy Walker; Simone has a mastery of her voice that can stun you with awe. Whether you're an avid fan or a new convert, this collection is a good addition to anyone's CD library, and provides awesome coverage of this wonderful master's career in music. Rating: C
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