Thursday, January 8, 2009

Simone sings Gershwin's "My Man's Gone Now"

While George Gershwin, 1898-1937, is noted as perhaps the most prestigious American classical composer of the Twentieth Century, his influence on modern popular music can be compared only with such greats as Duke Ellington and the Beatles. His folk Opera, Porgy And Bess, fuses the blues, jazz and classical forms. Summertime is perhaps the best known of the songs of Porgy and Bess, but My Man's Gone now is the most challenging and rewarding of its compositions.

Nina Simone, 1933-2003, was perhaps one of the most accomplished jazz performers of the Twentieth Century, a composer and pianist in her own right, her perfomances benefited from her composer's ability to adapt a work and her virtuoso skill as a singer. Her incredible power and emotion were showcased in a voice with exceptional range. In the West this High Priestess of Soul held a place comparable to that of Umm Kulthum on the Levant. Pegged in later life as a protest singer, and suffering from personal difficulties, she became an exile to Barbados, Liberia and France. This should not overshadow her musical accomplishment.

Here you can enjoy the fusion of these two great artists of the last century, with Nina Simone's signature recording of what I consider Gershwimn's greatest work, My Man's Gone Now, from Porgy and Bess:

1 comment:

Mike Erickson said...

This is a very sad song. Beautiful voice. Miss you Ted.