Nina Simone & Me with Laura Mvula

Nina Simone & Me with Laura Mvula

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Review

Laura Mvula has a voice often compared to that of Nina Simone. She’s flattered, but having none of it: "No one sounds like Nina." She’s in New York to enthuse about her idol, with personal and learned insight into Simone’s music, such as the influence of JS Bach’s fugues on her piano arrangements and her mother’s Methodist preaching on her stagecraft.

While she may not sound like Nina, Mvula is not so modest that she won’t tackle some of her songs, duetting with long-time Simone collaborator Al Shackman on an acoustic My Baby Just Cares for Me and joining a gospel choir for a rousing Sinner Man.

Shackman adds extra flavour as he reveals the pleasures and pains of working with the volatile Simone. But it’s the clip of her performing Mississippi Goddam at the Selma-Montgomery march that sends a shiver down the spine.

Summary

The soul singer travels to New York City to explore the songs made famous by Simone that mean the most to her, and trace the late singer's musical roots with the help of those who knew the `High Priestess of Soul'. Laura reveals the influence of Nina's classical training, meets Simone's long-time guitarist Al Shackman and performs with a Harlem gospel choir as she pays tribute to the genius of her musical heroine.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Laura Mvula
Contributor Al Shackman
Director Kath Pick
Executive Producer Richard Bright
Producer Kath Pick
Documentary Music