Listen to the violins on the title track, they are just so 1960s. Or the next track, when the brass comes in, sounding like the music on a James Bond theme song: again it could come from nowhere but the 1960s. And so it is with the rest of the album. Not the 1960s of The Beatles or Bob Dylan, the 1960s of an older generation, who might be changing some of their behaviour, but whose musical tastes were formed in a pre-Rock era. Does this make the music dated? The idea that everything must be new and the old is dispensable is a market driven idea – that music from the 1960s sounds as though it comes from the 1960s is natural: the question is whether the arrangements use the conventions of the time in enterprising or individual ways or whether they are just full of the clichés of the time. I think the arrangements on this album tend towards the latter. (Although Hal Mooney’s arrangements, which include the title track, are stronger than Horace Ott’s.) Is the choice of songs eclectic or eccentric? Personally I find them a strange hodgepodge: some Broadway show tunes, some French tunes (Jacques Brel’s Ne me quitte pas sung in French), some R&B – but they are mostly weak. Nina Simone’s piano can sometimes be heard tinkling in the background, but generally it is drowned out by the orchestra. The exception is the jazzy instrumental Blues On Purpose which is jolly but also further evidence that Simone wasn’t a particularly interesting jazz pianist. And for me all Simone’s vocal mannerism sound too much like mannerisms: the warble in the voice does not create emotion as it can, but is just a sentimental gesture towards emotion. But the title track is wonderful: here her voice is powerful and impassioned. But does the stringency of her voice create an emotional counterpoint to the lushness of the strings, or do the strings dampen her voice down to the level of pleasing Las Vegas show? At least we can ask the question about this track, for the rest light entertainment wins out.