I Put A Spell On You
[engl] This is the third album in a row that has been released on Phillips Records back in 1965 after “Pastel blues” featuring the raging and lengthy “Sinner man” and “Let it all out” where she tried out Bob Dylan's “Hollis brown” as her signature tune and let it rule supreme. Now we got “I put a spell on you” of which original copies fetch prices up to 200,00 Euros if seen in good condition. Thank goodness there is this excellent reissue now so the kids can take a listen to the real thing. I was up to consider it one rather dark and mellow album but it is not, in fact it is a typical effort for Mrs. Simone in that era who is at home in so many genres giving all songs - self penned or cover tunes - a piece of her own due to her distinctive voice and the way she performs. Whatever she sings is more than just a song, it becomes a statement. In this case the title track originally recorded by the incredible blues man Screamin' Jay Hawkins and the longing blues ballad “Feeling good” were the ones I already knew in other versions. Nina smokes on both tunes and nails them down thoughtfully but with a burning desire within her heart. Amazing. The rest ranges from blues to lush ballads to melancholic French chanson to singer / songwriter stuff to hot blooded soul and again she comes as an emotional thunderstorm even in the most gentle moments. Nina Simone changes her face with every tune played here and still the whole album has a homogeneous feel. Her performance on the piano by the way burns as much as her vocals. She runs over the keys as if there was no tomorrow then takes out the pace and makes every note be meaningful and even the pauses in between. Drifting around upon big arrangements is the same for her as reducing the tunes down to the bare skeleton. Whatever she does here, it feels good, it feels right, man it feels. If you want to be enchanted by some utterly soulful music beyond the barriers of the pop, blues, soul and jazz genres, this is yours. Lovely Nina, we miss you like mad.