Tag: nina simone

Album review: Meshell Ndegeocello

Rock — Meshell Ndegeocello is fearless. Who else would perform entire concerts dedicated to retooling the songs of maverick artists such as Prince and Gil Scott-Heron, only to follow it up with an album exploring and exorcising the discography of the ultimate maverick artist, Nina Simone? On her 10th studio album, Ndegeocello makes it feel effortless. She works from the ground up – taking the source material and rebuilding it with her own lusty vocals and electric bass lines. Like-minded singers such as Sinead O’Connor and Cody Chesnutt join in on several tracks, but it’s Ndegeocello’s contemplative, personal reinterpretations of tunes like “Feeling Good,” “See Line Woman” and Leonard Cohen‘s “Suzanne” that make this tribute worthy of its inspiration.

Open Letter About Nina Simone Doesn’t Mince Words

Aaron Overfield, the website content manager of NinaSimone.com, delivers a scathing criticism of Cynthia Mort (who’s leading the upcoming Nina Simone biopic),an appeal to the public to put discussions of Zoe Saldana’s“blackness” behind them, and a “talk-to-the-hand” rebuke to anyone who espouses the “don’t judge/wait and see/shut up about it” stance on the casting issue. Says Overfield: The most frustrating people are the ones who imply everyone should just shut up and “wait and see” or “leave them alone.” That kind of attitude and oppression is not in the spirit of Nina Simone whatsoever. Quite the opposite. Nina was vocal, defiant, a warrior, an activist. She would not have simply shut up and sat down. She would’ve shown up at the studio with a shotgun to speak with Ms. Mort and slapped the makeup off Zoe. So let’s get that straight first. We’re going to talk about this and those of us with strong, impassioned opinions are going to express them. He goes on to state that, though the film’s production can’t be stopped, its more problematic notions should continue to be highlighted. Among those is the “straightfacing” of an out gay male, Clifton Henderson, who has been previously reported to be written as Nina’s love interest in Mort’s script: It is also the first instance of Cynthia’s script exploiting a marginalized identity by essentially putting “straightface” on an out gay man. This is rather curious since Mort herself is a lesbian and you’d wonder how she’d feel being rewritten as a heterosexual woman under the guise of someone else’s “artistic license.” Would Cynthia Mort be pleased with someone rewriting her own history to the point where her sexuality becomes a trivialized inconvenience? I guess someone would have to ask her that. I won’t bother.

Read it at Clutch.