JazzTimes - 7-8/95, p.115
"...a ballads anthology from the High Priestess of African-American song. With a contralto voice as deeply affecting and full of intense feeling as any we've known, Nina Simone turns each song into its own passion play and never so much as with ballads..."
Personnel includes: Nina Simone (vocals, piano); Rudy Stevenson (flute, guitar); Al Shackman (harmonica, guitar); Lisle Atkinson (bass); Bobby Hamilton (drums).
Principally recorded in New York from 1964 to 1966. Includes liner notes by Joel E. Siegel.
Personnel: Nina Simone (vocals); Rudy Stevenson (guitar, flute); Al Shackman (guitar, harmonica); Bobby Hamilton (drums).
Liner Note Author: Joel Siegel.
Recording information: New York, NY (03/21/1964-08/??/1966).
Editor: Peter Pullman.
Photographer: Lee Tanner.
Arrangers: Hal Mooney; Horace Ott; Nina Simone.
Verve gets a lot of mileage out of its jazz catalog by repackaging a lot of material under loose thematic configurations. After Hours, as you could probably guess from the title, focuses on Simone's jazz ballads, with 16 tracks from her mid-'60s Philips albums. The material is pretty good -- "Wild Is the Wind," "Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair," "I Loves You Porgy," and Van McCoy's "For Myself" are all among her best sides from the period. But Simone was an eclectic who could handle much more than jazzy ballads. Unless you know for sure that you prefer this facet of her work above all else, the more wide-ranging Verve Jazz Masters 17 is a much better introduction to her mid-'60s work. However, this might make a nice supplement for fans who want to dig a little deeper. The only bonus of this collection is an unedited version of "Little Girl Blue." ~ Richie Unterberger