Nina Simone possessed one of the most rounded voices in soul. Her distinctive contralto vocals visited the subtle, beautiful, brooding, and haunting within the shifting of an octave, or an inflection. ‘Wild is the Wind,’ though confusedly arranged, is an album dedicated to her range. The first track is a pleasant, swinging soul number; the next, ‘Four Women,’ is a thunderous tale of black womanhood that quakes with emotion and hurt. It is a reminder that even in her moments of ‘cocktail jazz,’ the unforgettable pain of the time remains, prickly and obstructive as ever.
A favourite: ‘Four Women’