Like A Bird: Nina Simone, 1967

While many recognize Nina Simone’s 1967 rendition of I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free from her 1967 Silk & Soul album, fewer know that the song was in fact an adaptation of a 1963 spiritual by the jazz pianist and composer Billy Taylor. Originally recorded in November 1963 as a purely instrumental piece,…

remember me: Timothy Bloom ft. V. Bozeman, 2010

Many artists get their start not as starlit natural performers, but instead after spending years in other roles within the industry before becoming discovered, or more often than not, forging their own path and breaking away independently. Isaac Hayes, who started as an instrumentalist, song writer, and producer for Stax is only one example of…

Grateful I Will Be: Otis Redding, 1962

The precise meaning of “soul music” requires a deeper investigation. For now, we might consider it literally, as music that moves, and is at once borne from, the soul, that primordial, inexplicable spirit that injects life into all things seen, heard, and witnessed. It’s music that is unfiltered and honest, open to our qualms and longings, candid as…

Sweet Things: Nina Simone, 1968

The most recent account of the career of Nina Simone comes through a Netflix original documentary entitled What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015) What stands out to many about her is a fierce, sometimes graphic, theme to her songs. A month after Martin Luther King gave his iconic speech in the summer of 1963, four girls in…

fun fact!

After training at the prestigious Julliard conservatory in New York, the budding pianist Eunice Waymon was rejected by the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia.  Dejected by the thought that she would never fulfill her dream of becoming the first African American woman to perform in Carnegie Hall, she began performing in New Jersey bars and clubs to help her family…