Nina Simone: Mood Indigo


Mood Indigo


Nina Simone (vocals, piano)


Little Girl Blue (Fuel 2000)

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Nina Simone (vocals, piano), Jimmy Bond (bass), Albert "Tootie" Heath (drums).

Composed by Duke Ellington, Barney Bigard & Irving Mills


Recorded: New York, 1957


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

A classically trained pianist, Nina Simone kicks off Ellington's "Mood Indigo" with a two-fisted display that sounds amazingly like Duke, fires off a fugue worthy of J.S. Bach, and finally vocalizes with a youthful (age 24) defiance that thankfully would never mellow. When she sings "You ain't never been blue / Till you've had that mood indigo," Simone is clearly invoking not personal depression but her homeland's 300-year collective black experience. Her militant Afro-Americanism and kick-ass feminism would both find wider voice in the 1960s and '70s. But Nina Simone was there first, a pioneer woman on the Fifties frontier.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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