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Morning Song – Sinnerman

August 31, 2016

(One in a series of posts inspired by President Obama’s 2016 Spotify Summer Playlist.)

Take Nina Simone’s childhood, growing up in small-town North Carolina, learning spirituals like “Sinner Man” at Methodist camp meeting revivals her mother preached at, add some Bach, Chopin and Rachmaninoff from her Julliard training, stir it all together with the volatile and incongruous mix of the early ’60s Greenwich Village folk scene and the savage violence inflicted upon African-Americans by the defenders of American apartheid, and you get—if you’re lucky, if you have the hard-won, otherworldly talents of Simone—a mesmerizing, show-stopping tour de force like “Sinnerman”, the kind of performance that can get deep enough inside to start rearranging your DNA.


From → Music

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