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June 29, 2010

“Four Women” featuring Simone, Lizz Wright & Diane Reeves

I am a sucker for musical collaborations and remakes.  I live for award show tributes to see how new artists will spin classics.  “Four Women” is classic, indeed.  After coming across this YouTube video, I instantly saved it to my favorites.  However, as of recently, it has found ways to pop up in my Twitter timeline or my random Google searches.  So I want to share it with you.

“Four Women” was written and originated by Nina Simone, a jazz legend.  The song takes listeners on an introductory meet-and-greet with four different women, each a stereotype of African American women in what was the late 1960s.  The first woman, called Aunt Sarah, derives from the effects of slavery.  A multiracial woman named Safronia follows, telling her story of conception and the lasting results of her mixed heritage on her own perspective on the world.  The next, a young woman dubbed “Sweet Thing,” is a prostitute seeking acceptance but only finding it through the sexual exchange of body.  Finally, the fourth woman is named Peaches, a woman carrying the burden and bitterness of all that has come before her.  Her verse is the most powerful.

In this remake, three of today’s jazz divas lend their voices to the Nina Simone classic.  Simone, the late Nina Simone’s daughter, takes on two of the stereotypes while husky voiced Lizz Wright takes on another, and ending with the strong Diane Reeves as ‘Peaches’.  Check it out.

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