Monday, March 4, 2013

Album Review: At Town Hall by Nina Simone

I'm not the biggest fan of live albums but when they are good they can be very good and this album recorded in 1959 of Nina Simone is exceptional.

If you want to build a record collection, it seems to me there are certain artists you must have in your collection. Nina Simone I would argue is one of those artists because she was so influential on so many pop artists from Pete Townshend to Kate Bush and onward. And if you are going to own any Nina Simone I would argue that you need to own At Town Hall. This was recorded very early in her career and is really Nina Simone fully focused on performing her music, and honestly the best Nina Simone is always captured live. She was one of those performers who seemed to get energy and emotion from her audience that is simply missing from recorded sessions. Problem is in so many live recordings of Simone she's wandering in and out of her music and thoughts and so it's rare to find her fully focused on nothing but the performance of the songs. There are 10 songs on this album and each one is exceptional. It's also good because you get to hear Nina as a pianist, something which very quickly got pushed back in her performances. There are two instrumental tracks on here.

Of course the problem with getting this album is that you'll want more Nina Simone and the good thing is there are a lot of albums to explore.

Following the Rhapsody rating method I give it 5 out of 5 stars for Great.


  1. I was listening to this album today and thinking how I need to write a five star review for it, glad to find I already did. This album is so good.

  2. Music spoken in a beautiful language with an amazing voice and beauty.