To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story

To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story

by Nina Simone

CD(Bonus DVD)

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  • This 3-CD career retrospective (1957-1993) includes Nina Simone's work for the Bethlehem, Colpix, Philips, RCA, CTI and Elektra labels.
  • It also features a DVD containing an Emmy-nominated, never-before-released documentary from 1970.
  • 54 songs, 8 previously unreleased tracks, including some never recorded elsewhere.
  • Nearly 4 hours of music.
  • Includes all chart hits (U.S. and U.K.) and her most famous signature songs.
  • Many unique and rare live recordings of her classic repertoire and the greatest album tracks from her entire career.
  • Liner notes include track-by-track commentary from Simone biographer David Nathan and introduction by Ed Ward, NPR’s “rock & roll historian” and Fresh Air correspondent.
  • Never-before-seen photos from her family archives, recording sessions and performances.
  • Product Details

    Release Date: 09/30/2008
    Label: Sony Legacy
    UPC: 0886971100921
    catalogNumber: 711009
    Rank: 57040

    Album Credits

    Performance Credits

    Nina Simone   Primary Artist,Piano,Vocals
    Jeff Hamilton   Drums
    Seldon Powell   Alto Flute,Tenor Saxophone
    Chuck Rainey   Bass
    Ernie Royal   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
    Hal Mooney   Conductor
    Weldon Irvine   Organ,Conductor
    Montego Joe   Drums
    David Nadien   Violin
    Jimmy Wisner   Conductor
    Nadi Qamar   Percussion,Kalimba
    Don Alias   Percussion,Bongos,Drums
    Lamar Alsop   Viola
    Seymour Barab   Cello
    Everett Barksdale   Guitar
    John Beal   Bass
    Maurice Bialkin   Cello
    Alfred Brown   Viola
    Garnett Brown   Trombone
    Ernie Calabria   Guitar
    Buck Clarke   Drums
    John Clayton   Bass
    Lewis Eley   Violin
    Max Ellen   Violin
    Barry Finclair   Violin
    Eric Gale   Guitar
    Eileen Gilbert   Vocals
    Harry Glickman   Violin
    Dominick Gravine   Trumpet,Bass Trumpet
    Milt Grayson   Vocals
    Paul Griffin   Piano
    Louis Haber   Violin
    Bob Hamilton   Drums
    Hilda Harris   Vocals
    Harry Lookofsky   Violin
    Ernie Hayes   Organ,Piano
    Haywood Henry   Saxophone
    Albert "Tootie" Heath   Drums
    Gary King   Bass
    Emile Latimer   Guitar
    Charles Libove   Violin
    Carl Lynch   Guitar
    Nicky Marrero   Percussion
    Charles McCracken   Cello
    Homer Mensch   Bass
    Marvin Morgenstern   Violin
    Horace Ott   Conductor
    Gene Perla   Bass
    Bernard "Pretty" Purdie   Drums,Timpani
    Emedin Rivera   Percussion,Conga
    David Sackson   Violin
    Jumma Santos   Conga
    Schackman   Guitar,Piano,Sitar,Tambourine
    Stuart Scharf   Guitar
    Richard Sortomme   Violin
    Irving Spice   Violin
    David Spinozza   Guitar
    Richard Tee   Organ
    Barbara Webb   Vocals
    Harold Wheeler   Conductor
    Jack Zayde   Violin
    Jimmy Bond   Bass
    Mel Tax   Flute,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
    Chris White   Bass
    Julius Brand   Violin
    Michael Comins   Violin
    Jerry Jemmott   Bass
    Gordon "Specs" Powell   Percussion,Vibes
    Herbert Sorkin   Violin
    Rudy Stevenson   Flute,Guitar
    Emanuel Vardi   Viola
    Essien Nkrumah   Percussion
    Jerry Graff   Vocals
    Michael Melvoin   Piano
    Jimmy Madison   Drums
    Harold "Money" Johnson   Trumpet
    Joe Shepley   Trumpet
    Sammy Lowe   Conductor
    Lisle Atkinson   Bass
    Samuel Waymon   Organ,Vocals
    Doris Willingham   Background Vocals
    Wilbur Bascomb   Trumpet
    Alan Schulman   Cello
    Tom L. Smith   Guitar
    Henry Young   Guitar
    Marky Markowitz   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
    Joseph Haber   Violin
    Noah Hopkins   Vocals
    Samuel Wayman   Organ,Piano
    Maeretha Stewart   Vocals
    Alvin Rogers   Percussion
    Gene Taylor   Bass

    Technical Credits

    Marc Blitzstein   Composer
    George Gershwin   Composer
    Dimitri Tiomkin   Composer
    Kurt Weill   Composer
    Leonard Cohen   Composer
    Sandy Denny   Composer
    Richie Havens   Composer
    Pete Seeger   Composer,Adaptation
    Irving Berlin   Composer
    Nina Simone   Arranger,Composer,Producer
    Bob Dylan   Composer
    Aretha Franklin   Composer
    Randy Newman   Composer
    Tina Turner   Composer
    Miles Davis   Composer
    Langston Hughes   Composer
    Jeremy Lubbock   Orchestral Arrangements
    Irving Mills   Composer
    Jacques Brel   Composer
    Gilbert Bécaud   Composer
    Matt Kelly   Tape Research
    Hal Mooney   Arranger,Producer
    Carolyn Franklin   Composer
    Robin Gibb   Composer
    Weldon Irvine   Arranger,Composer,Producer
    Richard M. Jones   Composer
    Galt MacDermot   Composer
    Jimmy Wisner   Arranger
    Bertolt Brecht   Composer
    Oscar Brown   Composer
    Rod McKuen   Composer
    Jack Robinson   Cover Photo
    Barry Gibb   Composer
    Bennie Benjamin   Composer
    Barney Bigard   Composer
    Leslie Bricusse   Composer
    Manny Curtis   Composer
    Pierre Delanoë   Composer
    Walter Donaldson   Composer
    Duke Ellington   Composer
    André Fischer   Producer
    Ira Gershwin   Composer
    Jerry Jeff Walker   Composer
    Gus Kahn   Composer
    Anthony Newley   Composer
    Horace Ott   Arranger
    Joe Rene   Producer
    Walter Robinson   Producer
    William Salter   Composer
    Schackman   Musical Director
    Richard Seidel   Producer,Liner Notes
    Caiphus Semenya   Composer
    Nat Shapiro   Producer
    Pete Spargo   Producer
    Billy Taylor   Composer
    Creed Taylor   Producer
    Ned Washington   Composer
    Harold Wheeler   Arranger,Producer
    Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey   Composer
    James Rado   Composer
    Gerome Ragni   Composer
    Ed Ward   Liner Notes,Introduction
    Sammy Lowe   Arranger
    DuBose Heyward   Composer
    Sol Marcus   Composer
    Curtis Ousley   Composer
    Jessie Mae Robinson   Composer
    Hugh MacKay   Composer
    Richard Ahlert   Composer
    George Bass   Composer
    Gloria Caldwell   Composer
    Dick Dallas   Composer
    Traditional   Composer
    Michelle Holme   Art Direction
    Jeremy Wind   Composer
    Bob Blake   Producer
    Paul Laurence Dunbar   Composer

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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    To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
    AE-Bernal More than 1 year ago
    Nina Simone has recorded some of the most memorable music of the 20th century. Prolific is an understatement; Nina Simone was a virtuoso on stage and in the recording studio. Between 1957 and 1973, Simone completed 27 albums for four different record labels. Unlike her personal heroine Billie Holliday, not only could Nina sing exquisitely, she, herself was a classically trained pianist. This made her a creative force as composer and lyricist. Because of this, Nina had a musician's ear and knew how to craft classic originals and adapt famous standards of her day.

    Many of these are found in the new dynamic four disc (3 CD and 1 DVD set) To Be Free. Not only is this a collection of vintage songs written and recorded by Nina Simone, this is the soundtrack to American history from an artist that is unknown by the majority of modern music fans. It is a criminal shame that Nina Simone is rarely mentioned up there with Billie Holliday, Aretha Franklin, and Patsy Cline as queens of American music.

    To me she surpasses all of those incredible singers because Nina composed the majority of the music and lyrics to all her originals. And Simone came up with the arrangements of her favorite artists that she covered, like Gershwin's "I Love's You, Porgy" Jacques Brel's "Ne Me Quite Pas," George Harrison's "Here Comes the Sun" and Bob Dylan's "Just like a Woman."

    Although To Be Free includes live versions of "Wild is the Wind," the Langston Hughes-penned powerhouse "Backlash Blues" any my personal favorite "Who Knows Where the Times Goes." The 30 minute DVD, Nina: A Historical Perspective is a breathtaking insight inside the mind, the music and the voice of Nina Simone told in her own words.

    Inside the music and film of To Be Free, you will see and hear why and how she inspired a generation of artists and bands. Thanks to Mary J. Blige, Lauren Hill, Alicia Keys, Cat Power, Bowie and Buckley, the legend of Nina Simone sings on within them, their vocal styles and covers of her originals. We must not forget the many films that have showcased Nina's voice and songs and helped introduce her music to a new generation of soulful enthusiasts. If you're a novice and searching for a place to start your education of Nina Simone look no further than To Be Free. This box set captures the beauty, power and essence of all that encompassed the artistry and myth that was Nina Simone.

    Adrian Ernesto Cepeda
    tonyathamestaylor More than 1 year ago
    I highly recommend "To Be Free." The interview on the accompanying DVD is the jewel of this compilation. During this interview, one relates to Nina as she listens, sings, shares, laughs, and dances. She is a lady whose body of work reveals her priorities: social change and equity. incredible talent who travailed through unjust social constructs to make a beautiful contribution to humanity. To think of Nina is to think of artistry. This compilation serves as a textbook that can benefit any artist. The accompanying notes are brief and informative. And, well, the music "sings" for itself. Bravo!
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