Nina Simone - Pastel Blues
Nina Simone released a flurry of albums throughout the mid-60's — Pastel Blues was her second release in 1965, and she dropped no fewer than four new albums the following year.
This creatively fertile period saw Simone bringing her relentlessly original take to folk songs, jazz standards, and much more - cementing her status as an American original. The album concludes with two of the most powerful songs Simone ever recorded: a devastating rendering of the ant-lynching "Strange Fruit" and the absolutely frantic, 10-minute musical explosion that is her arrangement of "Sinnerman." Simone would go on to release many other extraordinary works, but Pastel Blues deserves a special spot in the pantheon.