Nina Simone

My Baby Just Cares for Me

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This budget-priced compilation issued via Verve's Jazz Club imprint spotlights Nina Simone's mid-'60s stint with the Philips label, the creative tipping point of the singer's storied career. Expanding the grammar of jazz by introducing elements of folk, soul, and pop, at Philips Simone redefined both her music and her place in music, making forever obsolete the stereotypes that long straitjacketed the role of women in American popular art. For the most part, My Baby Just Cares for Me eschews Simone's most fiery political statements in favor of more intimate and idiosyncratic work -- listeners seeking a truly comprehensive portrait are recommended the excellent Four Women: The Complete Nina Simone Philips Recordings, but this single-disc overview hits many of the high points, including "Old Jim Crow," "Work Song," and "Feeling Good."

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