Little Girl Blue [Limited Green] [Import]
Little Girl Blue, released in 1957, was Nina Simone's first recording, originally issued on the Bethlehem label.
Backed by bassist Jimmy Bond and Albert "Tootie" Heath, it showcases her ballad voice as one of mystery and sensuality and showcases her uptempo jazz style with authority and an enigmatic down-home feel that is nonetheless elegant. The album also introduced a fine jazz pianist. Simone was a solid improviser who never strayed far from the blues. Check the opener, her reading of Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo," which finger-pops and swings while keeping the phrasing deep-blue. It is contrasted immediately with one of the -- if not the -- definitive reads of Willard Robison's steamy leave-your-lover ballad "Don't Smoke in Bed."