In 1964, Nina Simone embarked on new stage of her career. Her rejection by the Philadelphia-based Curtis Institute Of Music; time spent as a pianist in an Atlantic City nightclub; her jazz, gospel, pop and classical influences – all these had fused to make her one of the most complex, fascinating and talented artists of the decade.
Simone released her debut album in 1958, but when she signed to Philips, in 1964, her creative output was about to dovetail with the Civil Rights movement – notably coinciding with the Civil Rights Act Of 1964, which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, gender, religious affiliation or nationality.
Once more presenting Simone's vast stylistic range, 1967's The High Priestess Of Soul also introduced her enduring epithet to the wider world. From rock 'n' roll (Chuck Berry's "Brown Eyed Handsome Man") to spirituals ("Come Ye," "Take Me To The Water") to jazz, pop and soul, the album saw Simone end her Philips tenure as confidently – and uncompromisingly – as she began it.