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Nina Simone: Break Down and Let It All Out
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Nina Simone: Break Down and Let It All Out

3.25  ·  Rating details ·  40 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
One of the last divas of jazz, Nina Simone (1933 - 2003) was one of the finest songwriters and musicians of her day. For over 40 years she and her music defied categorization. Trained as a classical pianist, she performed blues, jazz, protest songs, gospel, pop, hymns, and folk tunes. Simone covered the songs of artists and musicians that she admired, from Bob Dylan to Duk ...more
Hardcover, 360 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by Sanctuary Publishing, Ltd.
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Jan 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
Too much about the author. Too little about Nina.
Mar 25, 2017 added it
More about the authors than about the subject.
Drew Hoffman
Jan 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Far from comprehensive (check out "Nina Simone: The Biography" by David Brun-Lambert for a more in-depth summation), this book instead offers some candid insights into the private struggles and triumphs of one of the greatest of music legends. Its authors, Sylvia Hampton and David Nathan, were originators of the first Nina Simone fan club (The Nina Simone Appreciation Society) in the 60's and spent their entire lives as friends-- when in the diva's favors-- and admirers. Nina Simone was a genuin ...more
Jan 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
This is written from the perspective of a Nina Simone fan... yet, there are a lot of negative accounts of Nina Simone. As others have said, the book is more about their relationship to Nina Simone, rather than about the career, or legacy of Simone. One is left to think that Simone was a crazy, Diva with little to no agency of her life... yet, this is written from the point of a view of a fan? The author(s) do not complicate Simone's experience as a Black woman protest musician when considering m ...more
Alicia Mikolajczyk
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've read already one biography of Nina Simone but this book I must admit has an extra insight into private life of Nina Simone - not from the perspective of the tabloids - although those are also there - but with additionally comment from her close friends giving a full picture what was really going on behind closed doors.
There where a few moments in this book when I was kind of tired with monologue of the author and her brother about their life's and feelings as a center of attention....but ov
Jul 27, 2007 rated it did not like it
I was looking for a more objective narrative on Nina's life, considering she was a little crazy, and I suspected her autobiography would follow suit. This book is written by a lifelong fan who kept Nina's Appreciation Society afloat. While she gave great details of particular concerts and recordings, her endless rambling drove me nuts. Read about Nina on Wikipedia and ask a fan for which albums to buy.
Paula Johnson
Aug 17, 2010 rated it liked it
I did not know much about Nina Simone till I started listening to her in 1999. I got this book as a present last year and it is written well. The view of the author Sylvia Hampton and her brothers story's of Simone kept me interested. Some biographies can be written bad and can get boring, but I did not get bored and I felt like I got to know Nina Simone.
Jan 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
This is definitely not the first book to read if you want an in-depth look at Nina Simone. Think of it as a companion book perhaps. And honestly it feels more like a memoir about the people who wrote it. THEIR time with Nina Simone and how she touched their lives. Really wish I had read another book.
Richard Stauffacher
Oct 06, 2012 rated it did not like it

Disappointing. More about the biographer's experience and less about Nina. Some interesting anecdotes, but hardly the exhaustive bio I was looking for.
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