Little Girl Blue
- Brand: Nina Simone
- Product Code: ninasimone-littlebluegirl
Limited Edition In Transparent Green Colored Vinyl
Little Girl Blue was, for the most part, reflective of the typical jazz songbook of the day, Simone's treatment of it was anything but standard. The singer-pianist, born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in North Carolina, spellbound audiences by bringing classical influences to jazz and popular standards. She also imbued these sophisticated Great American Songbook works with the earthiness and intensity of the blues, and the fervor of gospel. She demanded creative control from the start, a testament to her clear sense of self from the very beginning. Her small but significant trove of recordings for Bethlehem - just this album and three more tracks - were intimate: either solo piano or in a trio with Jimmy Bond on bass and Albert "Tootie" Heath on drums. In any setting, though, her voice - unmistakably smoky, husky, and piercing in its quest for the emotional truth - was the star. On Little Girl Blue, Simone made a pair of songs closely associated with another impeccable stylist, Peggy Lee, her own (the torch lament "He Needs Me" and steamy "Don't Smoke in Bed") - no small feat in and of itself. She brought cool insouciance to a shuffling "My Baby Cares Just for Me" which would gain a new life in the 1980s when it was used in a Chanel No. 5 commercial; a subsequent video was played in heavy rotation on MTV. Little Girl Blue also featured her quietly intense rendition of George and Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward's "I Loves You, Porgy." The aria from Porgy and Bess would become one of Simone's signature songs and her only top 20 hit. But virtually every track on the album is a classic, from her dark, brooding reinvention of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel anthem "You'll Never Walk Alone" to her seemingly effortless reading of Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo." Simone contributed one original composition, the instrumental "Central Park Blues."