This double-CD set, which spans three decades of Nina Simone's illustrious career, strives to capture the live Nina Simone experience on disc, with excerpts from some of her most acclaimed recorded concerts. Simone's fans almost regard her concert appearances as mystical experiences, highly charged and soulful events that have earned her the nickname "The High Priestess of Soul." The choice of material covered here is--as always with Nina--all over the map.
The first CD of the collection opens with tracks from her legendary 1963 Carnegie Hall concert, featuring the bitter Brecht-Weill song "Pirate Jenny" and her haunting version of "Don't Smoke in Bed"; it then explores her 1975 concert in Paris, with a stand-out version of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," among others, as well as tracks from her 1962 Village Gate appearance in New York City, including the moving Oscar Brown Jr. lullaby "Brown Baby." The second disc is an entire set recorded in 1984 at London's Ronnie Scott's Club and includes a rocking version of her original "God, God, God," as well as two more Brecht-Weill songs, including the title track, both from the opera "The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny."