Nina Simone: Mississippi Goddam
Nina Simone (vocals, piano)
In Concert / I Put a Spell on You (Mercury 846 543-2)
Nina Simone (vocals, piano),
Rudy Stevenson (guitar), Lisle Atkinson (bass), Bobby Hamilton (drums).
Composed by Nina Simone.
Recorded: New York, April 4, 1964
Rating: 86/100 (learn more)
"All I want is equality for my sister, my brother, my people and me," sings Nina Simone, forcefully stating her agenda. Cursing Mississippi is just a start. "This whole country is full of lies," she snaps. "You all gonna die and die like flies." Staged as vaudevillian parody, "Mississippi Goddamn" suitably ridicules its subject and clearly delights an audience. But measured by contemporaneous standards, it falls short. Four months earlier, 22-year-old folksinger Bob Dylan crystallized early-'60s social protest with his unflinchingly powerful The Times They Are A-Changin'. Inadvertently, Simone's two-beat burlesque shows how far behind the curve jazz had fallen.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz