March 23, 1986
"Brown Sugar," the documentary series on black female performers, was a great idea for a show but unfortunately it was way too crowded to give us the necessary details of the fascinating lives covered. Four hours was just not enough time, and the series ended up either glossing over or totally skipping such important figures as Ella Fitzgerald, Ruby Dee, Big Mama Thornton, Nina Simone and Sarah Vaughan. Too bad. Frank Malfitano, Los Angeles
June 3, 1989
Feather's assertion that Baker "was a limited trumpeter . . . and an even less talented singer" is way off the mark and damning to Baker's talent ("Film Portrait Does Jazz a Disservice"). The first time I heard Baker's voice, I said to myself, "That's not singing, that's communicating!" He didn't take over a song, but rather he made it a listener's song. Baker had a talent to give of himself, like a Nina Simone or a Piaf or a Merle Haggard and damn few others. Chet Baker is gone and so are his troubles.
December 6, 2012
Iconoclastic musician Meshell Ndegeocello takes on one of her heroes on her latest album, the lush collection "Pour Une Âme Souveraine: A Dedication to Nina Simone. " Although the record features guest turns from the likes of Cody Chesnutt and Sinéad O'Connor, there's no doubt that Ndegeocello will captivate with simmering and inspired reworkings of songs such as "To Be Young, Gifted and Black" and "Feeling Good. " Jazz guitar explorer James "Blood" Ulmer opens in an ensemble with fellow flamethrower Vernon Reid of Living Colour.
September 14, 1986
Kristine McKenna's review of Tina Turner's new album ("Break Every Rule") reads more like a character assassination than a serious music critique (Record Rack, Sept. 7). Alternating in tone between bitchy and outright mean, McKenna spends the first two paragraphs attacking Turner for wearing wigs, having a successful comeback album, making a movie, being interviewed by People magazine and leaving an allegedly abusive husband. She goes on to say Nina Simone, Etta James and Dusty Springfield can sing rings around Turner.
June 20, 2013 |
As sure as the sun rises in the east, a chopped-and-screwed version of Kanye West's new album “Yeezus” was inevitable, and DJ AudiTory can lay claim to the first best version. As happens these days with most pop and hip-hop album of note, soon after its Tuesday release, slowed-down, extended edits of all 10 songs on “Yeezus” started appearing online. The remixes, created by both pros and bedroom DJs looking to tap into a syrupy, Houston-born style, have become the modern-day version of reggae “dub plates.” The best of them explore, and reveal, the nooks and crannies of a recording in ways that would otherwise go unnoticed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 20, 2008 |
Dee Dee Warwick, 63, an R&B singer who recorded a few hits in the 1960s and was the sister of entertainer Dionne Warwick, died Saturday at a rest home in South Orange, N.J., according to publicist Kevin Sasaki. The cause of death was not announced, but Sasaki said she had been in failing health for several months. A native of Newark, Warwick was born Delia Mae Warrick but changed her name to Warwick in the early 1960s. She began singing with her sister Dionne as a teenager in church in the 1950s when they formed the Gospelaires.
June 24, 2000 |
Although many view her as the very definition of the word, the title "diva" doesn't quite do it in reference to Nina Simone. It helps to add one of her earlier appellations, "High Priestess of Soul," and the picture becomes more complete if other descriptions--"griot," "sorceress," "singer," "storyteller," "composer" and "passionate social activist"--areadded.
May 18, 2003 |
Nina Simone is live on stage in my car, brimming with optimism, boasting, "Tomorrow's my turn ...." She's riffing in my living room, remixed, "feeling good." And in my bedroom, she's just piano and voice confiding, "With these few goodbye words / How can I sing?"I don't dare interrupt her. We've been having a running conversation for years, and when she died late last month, it didn't -- couldn't -- stop. There are entire chapters, hers and mine, that we haven't gotten to.
April 17, 1994 |
Jeez, don't the rest of you sometimes wish we'd just shut up and take care of the kids? It was so much quieter back when we were little girls, in the 1950s and early 1960s, when the sounds of our mothers' discontent were limited to a little late-night bruxism and the solitary scratching of Betty Friedan's prophetic pen. But then the women's movement shoved open the door of possibility, and a rowdy crowd of dames stumbled into a new future.
June 13, 2003 |
Nina Simone's daughter is planning bicoastal memorial services for the jazz diva, who died in April at age 70. Simone, a North Carolina native, died at her home in France after a long illness. A funeral was held there. However, her daughter, Lisa Simone Kelly, has planned two services in the United States: one at Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church on July 26 and another in Culver City on Aug. 9.