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The soloist

Life of the troubled ‘high priestess of soul’ serves up bountiful detail but skimps on insight

Family members say that Nina Simone, shown here in a studio shot taken about 1968, was marked for greatness as a child. Family members say that Nina Simone, shown here in a studio shot taken about 1968, was marked for greatness as a child. (Getty Images)
By Rebecca Steinitz
Globe Correspondent / February 21, 2010

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A Nina Simone song is recognizable from its opening notes. First comes the piano, keys striking at the ineffable point where classical music meets jazz, blues, and pop. Then the voice, deep and searching, taking ownership of the words, whether they are Leonard Cohen or George Gershwin, traditional spiritual or original composition. Otherwise known as the “high priestess of soul,’’ ... (Full article: 937 words)

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