Ledisi: Ledisi Sings Nina
Very first note and I'm emotionally compromised.
If anyone was going to have the brass ovaries to do an entire cover album of Nina Simone, this woman is the only one up to the task. People have done cover songs (most notably as of late classic "Feeling Good"), but very few have captured the crack, ache and bone-chilling elegance of Nina Simone the way Ledisi did when stepped to the mic. Never mind the absolute unreal brilliance of the band's accompaniment as she belts and growls. The combination would make any lover of Queen Ancestor Simone pause.
The entire production is a respectable and respectful tribute to one of the greatest artists in music history. Ledisi's rendition of "Wild is the Wind" is a revelation. Showing the breadth of her vocal range, her upbringing in the Catholic church where she tuned her ear for technically stringent vocalization. Those who remember her performance alongside Kelly Price, Jill Scott and Marsha Ambrosius as they sang "Four Women" will remember Ledisi's undeniable power. As she takes on the track alone for this album, we're gifted the diversity, depth and brilliance of her vocal range. Belly-deep contralto, flirty second soprano that morphs and dances between the sensual and husky first alto. Then the star killer first soprano. What an instrument this woman has! Ledisi Sings Nina was an unbelievable vehicle to highlight just how brilliant and underappreciated she is in her time. All while maintaining the humility and grace to play flowers at the altar of Nina Simone.