This is not a song that’s easily covered.
A 2019 article by musicologist/pianist Dr. Samantha Ege discussing her research for her own debut album Four Women: Music for Solo Piano by Price, Kaprálová, Bilsland and Bonds, Ege outlined her own exploration of the Nina Simone composition “Four Women.” Though controversy arose among some Black radio broadcasters upon the song’s original release in 1966, Simone made it clear that each portrait revealed the terrible struggle with “other-ness” placed upon the women by the ignorance and hatred of white societal expectation. They are four distinctly different individuals suffocated by the archetypes, by their invisibility in American culture.
In a stirring tribute to one of their biggest musical influences, Austin band NORI recorded Simone’s emblematic song of the desire for self-definition, featuring vocals by Akina Adderley, and a string trio. It’s a powerful finale for their forthcoming self-titled vinyl album, set for release December 3.
Nori has a show tonight, Saturday Nov. 20, at Radio Coffee and Beer, 4204 Manchaca Rd., along with special guest Ray Prim. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and the music starts at 8 p.m.