Here's how I first find out about Nina Simone. I once called Bradley to shoot the bull. He put Angie on the phone. I asked what they were doing. She said they were preparing dinner and listening to a Nina Simone record. Often when people tell me stuff on the telephone and I'm in my home office (read: my bedroom, which has a desk in it), I'll grab a notecard and jot down something. In case this sounds frightening, I've never done it, I don't think, if someone has divulged some personal information. It's mostly for insights or recommendations. Though not a formal innovation, I wrote Nina Simone on a card and forgot about it.
A few days ago, I was looking through the Rolling Stone's top 500 albums list and ran across Nina Simone's Wild Is the Wind (1966), and I'm listening to it now. Will this be one of my favorite albums? It definitely makes me feel things. Her voice is sad. The overall album is melancholy. I try to imagine returning one evening from that archetypal hard day's work and putting this on. Would I? To be honest, I doubt it. I don't think the album would be much comfort. But must everything great be comfortable? No, but everything held precious to the heart most be appropriate for most every occasion. That doesn't have to be your rule, but it is one of mine. I will probably regret it, but I will cross this album off the list and likely never listen to it again deliberately.
Perhaps another of Simone's albums will appear on one of these lists of so-called great music. If it does, I will listen. And as with every album, I will give it a fair hearing.
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