We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Nina Simone was something special - no doubt about it. Her vocal range alone was enough to set her apart from her contempories, but it was that husky voice and the smooth transitioning in range that really set her apart. A lot like Ella Fitzgerald in some ways but with a little more "soul" if you will.
Of course the great classsic songs and singers all have great arrangements that this one is one of the best - set well within her normal range, it just shows Nina's skills off. I believe, and I could be wrong, that this is a Lionel Hampton arrangement.
Bruce my friend ... One of the best recordings Harry Belafonte ever made back in the 1950s was a blues recording which both my husband and I loved. The recording floated down the bayou back in 1991, so I don't remember the name of it, but it might be available in CD, as so many of the Ella Fitzgerald recordings are.
You'd know how to find it if it's out there. Your only-semi-computer-literate friend wouldn't.
Bruce ... I went to a wikipedia listing of Belafonte's albums and -- voila -- there it was: Belafonte Sings the Blues -- 1958, I think. It's worth your time, sweet cranky Bruce. I think you're going to love it.