This release compiles a collection of rare tracks from the early stages of Nina Simone’s career. It is presented here for the first time ever on a single set. Among the treasures are her seldom heard earliest recordings, made in Atlantic City in 1956, as well as four seldom heard singles waxedfor Colpix, and various live recordings from the same period.
The first five tracks were recorded live at a club somewhere in Atlantic City. These were among the first Nina Simone recordings ever made. However, they were taped and issued without her knowledge or consent, as sherecalled in her memoirs, I Put a Spell on You: “I went ahead with the club dates, which were just the same as ever except for the fact that one night, without my knowing it, somebody recorded one of my sets. That night I sang ‘I Loves You Porgy’, ‘Since My Lover Has Gone’, ‘Black Is the Color’, ‘Lovin’ Woman’ and "Baubles, Bangles and Beads’, and the recording appeared years later  as a pirate album called "Starring Nina Simone". I had to take the record label to court in 1965 to stop them selling it. So the first album I ever made was a pirate that I never got paid for and knew nothing about.”
NINA SIMONE, piano & vocals on all tracks, with:
A1-A5: Unknown drummer on 4-5 only.
Recorded live in Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1956.
A6-A7 & B1-B2: Orchestra conducted by Stu Phillips.
A6: New York, 1959. Originally issued on the single Colpix 151.
A7: New York, 1959-60. Originally issued on the single Colpix 156.
B1: Same as A7. Originally issued on the single Colpix 158.
B2: New York, September 1961. Originally issued on the single Colpix 614.
B3-B4: Nina Simone unaccompanied piano & vocals.
Live at the Lake Meadows Club, Chicago, 1960.
B5-B6: Nina Simone unaccompanied piano & vocals.
Live at unidentified location, probably New York, early 1960s.
01 I LOVES YOU PORGY
02 SINCE MY LOVER HAS GONE
03 BLACK IS THE COLOR OF MY TRUE LOVE’S HAIR
04 LOVIN’ WOMAN
05 BAUBLES, BANGLES AND BEADS
06 SINCE MY LOVER HAS GONE #2
07 IF ONLY FOR TONIGHT
01 NOBODY KNOWS YOU WHEN YOU’RE DOWN AND OUT
02 COME ON BACK, JACK
03 I LOVE TO LOVE
04 NOBODY KNOWS YOU WHEN YOU’RE DOWN AND OUT #2
05 I WANT A LITTLE SUGAR IN MY BOWL
06 STRANGE FRUIT