Title - Nina Simone & Etta James: The Montreux Years
Artist - Nina Simone & Etta James
For those not in the know, Montreux Jazz Festival and BMG today announce the forthcoming releases of Nina Simone: The Montreux Years and Etta James: The Montreux Years on June 25th, 2021.
The live albums, which will be available in multiple-format configurations, including double LP and two-disc CD editions, feature sublime collections of the iconic musicians finest Montreux Jazz Festival performances; including previously unreleased material, all restored to their full glory and more.
The audio will also be available on digital download and streaming services.
Simone and James albums are the first releases of Montreux Jazz Festival and BMGs brand-new collection series The Montreux Years.
The collections uncover legendary performances by the worlds greatest artists alongside rare and never-before-released recordings from the festivals rich 55-year history, with mastering performed by Tony Cousins at Londons iconic Metropolis Studios; incorporating MQA to capture the original sound of these special live performances. Each collection will be accompanied by exclusive liner notes and previously unseen photography.
Nina Simone: The Montreux Years
Nina Simones story from the late 60s to the 90s can be told through her celebrated appearances at the famed festival. Taking to the Montreux stage for the first time on June 16th, 1968 for the festivals second edition, Simone built a lasting relationship with the event and its co-creator and director Claude Nobs.
This unique trust and electricity can be clearly felt on these recordings. I mean, very few musicians put as much of themselves into their performances as Nina Simone.
Even by her standards, however, the concerts she gave for the attendees of the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland were an especially vivid display of temperament, humor, frustration, and frayed emotions throughout the display of songs.
Throughout the 29 tracks caught live here and spread over 2 discs, Simones haughtiness and general emotionality does not diminish even once; which makes this time capsule of the Montreux years all the more invitingly heartwarming for fans and connoisseurs alike.
Indeed, when Simone performs, she seems to be lovingly trapped in a beautiful musical trance, performing her songs on autopilot, sure, but never, ever in a throwaway manner. And for that the full attention and loving adoration from her audience is brought forth after every song has been sung.
Furthermore, Simones multi-faceted and radical story is laid bare here on Nina Simone: The Montreux Years. From a glorious and emotional 1968 performance to her fiery and unpredictable concert in 1976 (one of the festivals most remarkable performances ever witnessed), the collection includes recordings from all five of Simones Montreux concerts: 1968, 1976, 1981, 1987 and 1990.
Featuring rare and previously unissued material from Nobs extensive trove of recorded material (Montreux Sounds), the release will thrill Nina Simone devotees worldwide with its inclusion of the powerful I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free, poignant and fearless Four Women and Simones hauntingly beautiful performance of Ne Me Quitte Pas.
A spine-tingling version of Janis Ians searing and potent Stars (in which just a few bars in, Simone singles out a woman who had apparently gotten up to leave, telling her to sit down!), which Simone covered for the very first time during her 1976 Montreux performance, sits alongside her bold and electrifying 1990 re-imagining of Bob Marleys ballad No Woman No Cry.
The collection closes with the encore from Simones final Montreux Jazz Festival concert and one of her most-loved and best-known recordings, the exuberant My Baby Just Cares for Me, showcasing the deep and multidimensional facets of Simones life and music.
1. Someone To Watch Over Me (Intro) @
2. Backlash Blues +
3. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free +
4. See-Line Woman *
5. Little Girl Blue (Pt 1 and 2) +
6. Dont Smoke In Bed *
8. What A Little Moonlight Can Do *
9. African Mailman +
10. Four Women*
11. No Woman No Cry *
12. Liberian Calypso *
13. Ne Me Quitte Pas *
14. Montreux Blues #
15. My Baby Just Cares for Me *
+ Recorded live at Casino Montreux 3 July 1976
# Recorded live at Casino Montreux 19 July 1981
@ Recorded live at Casino Montreux 10 July 1987
* Recorded live at Casino Montreux 13 July 1990
** Recorded live at Casino Kursaal 16 June 1968
2. Go To Hell
3. Just In Time
4. When I Was A Young Girl
5. Dont Let Me Be Misunderstood
6. Ne Me Quitte Pas
7. To Love Somebody
8. Backlash Blues
9. The House Of The Rising Sun
10. See-Line Woman
11. Please Read Me
12. Aint Got No, I Got Life
13. Gin House Blues
14. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free
All tracks recorded live at Casino Kursaal - June 16th, 1968.
Etta James: The Montreux Years
Etta James: The Montreux Years is a treasure trove of timeless classics, powerful and electrifying performances and raw, soaring vocals by one of the greatest-ever female vocalists.
The collection, featuring recordings from James live at Montreux concerts in 1977, 1978, 1989, 1990 and 1993, encapsulates and reflects Ettas dynamic artistry and long-lasting impact.
While the band members changed, as did the recording quality over the years, Etta James never failed to deliver the rocking soul, blues and jazz goods that her family imbed her with growing up.
Together with her oh-so powerful voice, she rampages through such swamp rock numbers as Beware, the Motown-inspired brilliance of Tell Mama, the gritty, harmonica-driven blues of Running And Hidin Blues, and also brings us the excellent Medley of At Last / Trust In Me / Sunday Kind of Love, and ends the first disc with James homage to Jimmy Reed, the soulful blues of Baby What You Want Me To Do.
The second disc primarily leans heavily toward the blues (You know I am a blues singer, I came from a Baptist Church, James announces before launching into a mesmerizingly 11 minute cover of Ray Charles Drown in My Own Tears.
Having opened with a near nine minute long rendition of the Staple Singers Respect Yourself, other stand outs include the ten minute funky soul of the guttural W-O-M-A-N, another harmonica-driven cut in the form of the foot-tapper Dust My Broom, closing on the reachingly passionate Stormy Monday.
Spanning three decades, Etta James: The Montreux Years offers deeply personal and intimate snapshots of James phenomenal career, from one of her earliest successes, the infectious and endlessly elegant Somethings Got a Hold on Me, to the aforementioned 3-track medley (a fusion of highlights from the early 60s), on through to the rawly emotional Id Rather Go Blind.
In 1975, Nobs captured a significant moment of musical history Etta James very first concert in Europe, performing at the festivals ninth edition.
The CD edition of Etta James: The Montreux Years will include highlights of this special landmark concert, held at Montreux Casino July 11th, 1975.
1. Breakin Up Somebodys Home *
2. I Got The Will **
3. A Lover Is Forever +
4. Id Rather Go Blind @
5. Damn Your Eyes **
6. Tell Mama +
7. Running And Hiding Blues *
8. Somethings Got A Hold On Me **
9. Beware +
10. Come To Mama *
11. Medley: At Last / Trust In Me / Sunday Holiday Kind Of Love **
12. I Sing The Blues For You +
13. Baby What You Want Me To Do (Encore) #
* Recorded live at Casino Montreux 18 July 1990
** Recorded live at Casino Montreux 12 July 1989
+ Recorded live at Auditorium Stravinski 15 July 1993
@ Recorded live at Casino Montreux 9 July 1977
# Recorded live at Casino Montreux 8 July 1978
1. Respect Yourself
2. Drown in My Own Tears
4. Dust My Broom
5. Id Rather Go Blind
6. All The Way Down
7. Baby What Do You Want Me To Do
8. Rock Me Baby
9. Stormy Monday
All tracks recorded live at Casino Montreux - July 11th, 1975.
Nina Simone: The Montreux Years 2CD Purchase Link
Etta James: The Montreux Years 2CD Purchase Link