Inspired by Bach : Nina Simone


"Intet nytt under solen", Bach er og har vært inspirasjonskilde for svært mange skapende mennesker - uavhengig av kunstform og sjanger. Albert Schweitzer mente alt fører til Bach, i forståelsen at Bach var et vendepunkt som alt pekte frem mot før, og alt i ettertid pekte tilbake til. 

Miles Davis mente at Nina Simone var "the greatest interpreter of sadness and feelings of our times." Elton John påstod at hun var den største kvinnelige artisten i det tyvende århundre.

Alle er ikke nødvendigvis like klar over at hun studerte for å bli den første fargede klassiske pianisten i USA, og Bach var en avgjørende innflytelse for valget om å bli musiker.

Once I understood Bach's music, I wanted to be a concert pianist. Bach made me dedicate my life to music, and it was that teacher who introduced me to his world

- Nina Simone

It´s this close to God as I know, this cleanliness of classical music - not all of it, it´s to cold - but Bach was a master.............

- Nina Simone

Nina Simone plays a stunning Bach-style fugue in the middle of one of her classic songs.

Pure musical inspiration as a jazz song overflows with Baroque counterpoint, with the effortless cool that could only come from Nina Simone.

We know Nina Simone as an icon of 20th-century music: a genius performer and songwriter. Her music flowed with irresistible jazziness and soul. But in her effortless piano playing, you might also hear more than a hint of something else.

As a young musician, Simone studied classical piano, and with it the complex contrapuntal keyboard music of J.S. Bach. In her improvisations, her study of fugues and classical forms shines through that jazzy surface.

And here's one particularly extraordinary moment.

Just have a listen to 'Love Me Or Leave Me', and the journey she takes us on in the instrumental section from about one minute in. Listen for the delicate, Bach-influenced fugue with subjects, counterpoint, and perfectly-placed motif development, all in the context of a sumptuous jazz song. Genius.

As a young musician, before she found international fame, Simone wanted to find her career as a classical pianist.

She enrolled in New York's Juilliard School, and later applied for a scholarship to study at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute, but she was denied admission despite a great audition. Simone later said this was due to her being profiled because of her race.

Simone went on to become one of America's most beloved jazz artists, but classical music never really left her fingers and mind.


Nina Simone - The Montreux Years er et dobbeltalbum med opptak fra de gyldne årene 1968-1990 på Montreux Jazz Festival. Hennes pianistiske ferdigheter og impulsene fra Bach kommer til sin rett i opptaket fra 1987. Dette er real stuff fra en mester innen klassisk, soul og jazz.

Simone's smash-hit re-release of the time, My Baby Just Cares For Me, a dazzling Bach-infused improvisations of the 1987 version from Montreux

- London JazzNews

An Artist´s Duty

I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free

I wish I knew how, it would feel, to be free
I wish I could break, all the chains, holding me
And I wish I could say, all the things, that I should say
Say 'em loud, say 'em clear, for the whole world to hear

I wish I could share, all the love, that's in my heart
Remove all the bars, that keep, us apart
And I wish you could know, what it means, to be me
Then you'd see, and agree, that every man, should be free

I wish I could give, I'm longing to give
And I wish I could live, like I'm longing to live
And I wish I could do, all the things I can do
Though I'm way overdue, I'd be starting to move

Well I wish I could be, like a bird up in the sky
How sweet it would be, if I found I could fly
Well I'd soar to the sun, then I'd look down at the sea
Then I'd sing cause I'd know
Yes I'd, sing cause I'd know
Sing cause I know
I know I'm free, yeah
Yes I know I'm free

That Blackness

Nina challenged boundaries and throughout her career, encouraged empowered expressions of Black culture and beauty. Created in partnership with Dove, the new music video for "Feeling Good" aims to continue Simone's important legacy by telling a story of Black female empowerment and rejecting imposed expectations. The video follows four generations of Black women living their truths, loving each other, and feeling good. 

What Happened, Miss Simone?

2015 | 13+ | 1 t 42 min | Kritikerroste filmer

Gjennom uutgitte lydopptak, sjeldne arkivbilder og hennes mest velkjente sanger, fortelles historien om den legendariske sangeren og aktivisten Nina Simone.