Mojo (Publisher) - p.1224 stars out of 5
-- "Over the course of 3CDs, we bear witness to a singer who had no equal. Simone carved phrases with that smoky tenor, a natural instrument so regal that her whisper packed more power than the caterwauling of lessers who compensate with overkill."
Blender (Magazine) - p.813 stars out of 5
-- "She squeezed audiences with a mysterious intensity, and this three-disc set is rightly heavy on the live tracks."
Paste (magazine) (p.66) - "TO BE FREE: THE NINA SIMONE STORY stirringly captures Simone's journey from a reluctant cabaret performer to one of the most powerful voices of the Civil Rights era."
Uncut (magazine)5 stars out of 5
-- "The songs Simone wrote or covered in response to the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960s suited her throaty snarl perfectly."
Personnel: Nina Simone (vocals, piano).
Audio Mixer: Todd Whitelock.
Audio Remasterer: Mark Wilder.
Liner Note Author: David Nathan.
Jazz singer and pianist Nina Simone was such a prodigious talent that even a four-disc box set might seem too small a canvas to fully sketch her genius, but TO BE FREE: THE NINA SIMONE STORY is nonetheless an ideal introduction. The three CDs contain 51 tracks covering Simone's career from 1953 to 1993, from her beginnings as a classically trained supper club artiste through her period of political awakening into her later, idiosyncratic blend of jazz, blues, pop, and rock. The fourth disc is a DVD containing a documentary film with live concert footage that was completed in 1970 but never released until this set. The set also contains eight previously unreleased songs and a book with essays and track-by-track commentary.