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Nina Simone‘s first official album, 1958′s Jazz as Played in an Exclusive Side Street Club, is pure perfection, an amazing accomplishment for a 24-year-old pianist arranging and singing studio renditions of songs from her live set. Captured here are moments of intrigue, as Simone magically takes the listener through musical caverns that want to be explored again with repeated spins. The rendition of “Plain Gold Ring” is exotic and draws the listener back, just as the Richard Rodgers… read more

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