Nina at the Village Gate

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Nina Simone at the Village Gate
Live album by Nina Simone
Released 1962
Recorded Live at The Village Gate, New York City, 1961
Genre Vocal, jazz, blues, folk


CP 421 (mono), SCP 421 (stereo)
Producer Cal Lampey
Nina Simone chronology
Forbidden Fruit
Nina Simone at the Village Gate
Nina Simone Sings Ellington

Nina Simone at the Village Gate is an album by singer/pianist/songwriter Nina Simone (1933-2003). It was her third live album for Colpix recorded at The Village Gate, a nightclub in Greenwich Village, New York. It is particularly notable for the amount of folk songs and African related songs on the album early in Simone's career. Richard Pryor had one of his first nights as a comedian opening for her.[1]

Information about songs on this album[edit]

  • "House of the Rising Sun", recorded few months prior to the version by Bob Dylan. It later became a big hit for The Animals in 1964. It is said that they were inspired by the Nina Simone version (although there is a lot of discussion about that).
  • "Just in Time" was used at the end of the movie Before Sunset (2004).

Critical Response[edit]

The record received a glowing response when reviewed in 2012 by Roland Ellis at Gaslight Records, being given a rating of 9.5/10. The “rawness” due to the simple recording technique he sees as a quality, that catches the “incredible atmosphere” of the nightclub and achieves “to present a young Nina Simone in her most real and free flowing state yet and this is perhaps most apparent in the way that her flawless vocal along with her innovative and dynamic piano playing shine through as effortless and unrivalled abilities without any need for recording studio gloss or trickery.”[2]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Just in Time" (Adolph Green, Betty Comden, Jule Styne)
  2. "He Was Too Good to Me" (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart)
  3. "House of the Rising Sun" (Josh White, Libby Reynolds Holmes, Nicholas Ray)
  4. "Bye Bye Blackbird" (instrumental) (Mort Dixon, Ray Henderson)
  5. "Brown Baby" (Oscar Brown)
  6. "Zungo" (Babatunde Olatunji)
  7. "If He Changed My Name" (Robert MacGimsey)
  8. "Children Go Where I Send You" (Nina Simone)


  1. ^ Simone about Pryor's first night: “He shook like he had malaria, he was so nervous. I couldn't bear to watch him shiver, so I put my arms around him there in the dark and rocked him like a baby until he calmed down. The next night was the same, and the next, and I rocked him each time.” In: Nina Simone & Stephen Cleary, I Put a Spell on You, pp. 70-71
  2. ^ Review at Gaslight Records