Singer Kim Nalley Wows Downtown Jazz Festival: Berkeley Daily Planet
Nalley did not try to recreate Nina --who could, after all? --but interpreted her life and music in a way that made us appreciate both Nina's pain and her greatness, in the way the soft, midnight moon reflects the long-departed light of a burning sun.

Kim Nalley - Mesmerizing! Beyond the Chron

She’s as dramatic as La Boheme … She’s Carmen … She’s remarkable … She’s exhilarating and she’s a Cultural touchstone! AND…SHE SANG THE STIRRING “Mississippi Goddamn!” – and when she sings it – she means it.

Did I mention she's gorgeous and actually exists?
Golden-voiced and full of fierceness, Ms. Nalley, a longtime (but not too long) Bay Area phenom and former owner of Jazz at Pearl's in North Beach, intends to keep that message alive for five straight weeks at the Rrazz Room — and sing the sugar out of a Nina Simone set list that runs to 44 songs, augmented with tales of the activist diva's life and accomplishments. If just thinking about doing all that makes you draw a breath, add in that Nalley is finishing up her Ph.D. in history at UC Berkeley, teaching jazz to grade school kids, and preparing to embark on a string of international tours and recording projects. Plus she's catching up on all four seasons of Mad Men. Did I mention she's gorgeous and actually exists?

Simone holds several draws for Nalley, whose show mixes history with the music.
"She speaks to all women, all races," Nalley says. "She speaks to black people. She speaks to civil rights, to the maids in hotels getting below minimum wage."

"She speaks to the oppressed and the underdog. I think that’s something anyone can identify with, regardless of race, gender or anything else."

Kim Nalley, She Put A Spell On Me!
Deb Gillespie Interview with Kim Nalley for Dorothy's Closet

The beautiful and sassy Kim Nalley will be coming to The Rrazz Room. Kim Nalley Sings Nina Simone! Dorothy and Toto are so excited about the show that we had to get an interview with this remarkable woman. Her "award-winning tribute, a mix of history, multimedia and song, was first performed by Ms. Nalley weeks after Nina Simone's death, recorded live and turned into a riveting album "She Put A Spell On Me: Kim Nalley sings Nina Simone," which was short listed for a 2006 Grammy Award."

INTERVIEW: Kim Nalley Conjures a Charm of Music in SHE PUT A SPELL ON ME: KIM NALLEY SINGS NINA SIMONE June 14-July 17 at RRazz Room
We’re blessed to have such a richly skilled, keenly intuitive pool of jazz artists in the Bay Area. Among the finest in our region, our nation for that matter, vocalist Kim Nalley and pianist Tammy Hall offer sublime flair and artistry.


DownBeat Feature Nalley Sings Nina
Nalley Pays homage to another great while maintaining her spirit and concept which is full of spirit sass and authority. on authority Click on image for full article.

Posted on: Friday July 30, 2010 PST

Best CDs of '06 _She Put a Spell on Me Kim Nalley Sings: Nina Simone
In brief, jazz and blues singer Kim Nalley revealed new emotional and stylistic range with her powerful tribute to Nina Simone.

Nalley is one of the Bay Area's musical gems. She's a powerful singer, but one who knows how to incorporate shading and silence to deliver winning performances.
Kim Nalley's tribute to Nina Simone a gem
NVP Services
Tuesday, March 20, 2007 9:14 AM PDT
Answering to the title, High Priestess of Song, Nina Simone was one of the most provocative, as well as gifted, entertainers of the 20th century.

Nalley pays tribute to Nina Simone at Copia concert
Nalley's raw, captivating performances have garnered numerous rave reviews and encores at the most prestigious jazz festivals and jazz clubs throughout Europe, Japan and the United States, performing with everyone from Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony

Neue Jazz-Ikone
Neue Jazz-Ikone
Baseler Zietung Switzerland
Kim Nalley aus San Francisco Laesst ihre Stimme im Bird�s Eye erklingen.

KECK. Manchmal sieht sie aus wie den 20er Jahren entsprungen. Wenn sie frech ihre Standards singt, stimmt dieser Link auch. Doch nicht nur traditional Jazz fuhlt sich Kim Nalley verbunden. Die Saengerin aus San Francisco widmet sich ebenso dem modern Jazz, dem Blues, Bebop und den sanften Jazz Balladen aus dem American Songbook. Wenn Kim Nalley, die in San Francisco als grosse Nachwuchshoffnung gilt, singt und ihren Scat zum Besten gibt, wird sie gelegentlich mit den ganz Grossen des Jazz verglichen � oder etwa als <<eine Mischung aus Jessica Rabbit und LouisArmstrong>> bezueichnet. Kim Nalley legt trotz ihres jungen Alters eine strake Praesenz an den Tag und faszineiert das Publikum mit ihrer powervollen Stimme.

Nalley is one of the few singers on the West Coast with the dramatic presence and stylistic breadth to pull off a tribute that captures Simone's entire oeuvre.
A tribute to inspirational Nina Simone
By Andrew Gilbert
Special to the Mercury News
When Kim Nalley decided to honor Nina Simone shortly after the regal singer's death in 2003, Nalley saw it as a personal gesture to an artist who had influenced and inspired her since childhood.


With these two strong albums, Hall and Nalley prove their worth as valuable players in the Bay Area jazz scene. CD review Kim & Tammy
Opening She Put a Spell on Me with the rollicking "My Baby Just Cares for Me," Nalley goes on to reveal an emotionally charged and soulful voice with the spiritual "In the Evening by the Moonlight." At almost seven minutes, the tune sounds eerily like Simone herself before it opens up to a lively section, complete with Nalley's handclaps and hollers of excitement from the crowd. Nalley's vocal abilities and the heart-pounding energy of "I Put a Spell on You" are well supported by her band; guitarist Greg Skaff shines in particular throughout the recording.


There may come a day when some talented and respectful young vocalist records a tribute album in honor of Kim Nalley. I'd definitely buy it.
TO NINA WITH LOVE: Bay Area vocalist Kim Nalley performs a tribute show to the great Nina Simone on Tuesday at Yoshi's at Jack London Square. If you miss Nalley at Yoshi's, make plans to catch the exquisite vocalist at her own club Jazz at Pearl's. Yep, besides recording tribute albums and playing gigs all over the place, Nalley also finds time to own and operate a first-rate jazz club in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood. She's also currently performing in the title role of a new play about Billie Holiday, entitled "Lady Day in Love," which runs through Aug. 12 at the Fellowship Theater in San Francisco.
In other words, she's one mighty impressive lady. And who knows? There may come a day when some talented and respectful young vocalist records a tribute album in honor of Kim Nalley. I'd definitely buy it.


To put it mildly, this is a great, great album. Nalley is simply breathtaking throughout.
Her voice is so powerful on this song that you have to keep yourself from simply listening to this song over and over.

4 out of 5 stars There is a seductive smoothness to Nalley's sound that should never be confused with slickness
Recorded live during Kim Nalley's five-night tribute to the late Nina Simone at San Francisco's legendary Jazz at Pearl's, She Put a Spell On Me celebrates the catalogue of one brilliant artist while introducing the world to a new one.
Posted on: Thursday May 25, 2006 PST

Heisser Jazz aus den Strassen von San Francisco
Heisser Jazz aus den Strassen von San Francisco
Abbenblatt: Das Stadt Magazine Vom Hamburg
Schon auf den ersten Blick sieht Kim Nalley aus wie eine entfernte Verwandte von Nina Simone oder Billie Holiday. Weniger optisch aus dem Gesicht geschnitten denn Stolz und Selbstbewusstsein zur Schau tragend. Und in der Tat muss sich die 1971 geborene Saengerin aus San Francisco nicht hinter ihren Vorbildern verstecken, gehoert Nalley doch zu den angesehensten Kuenstlerinnen der Westkueste. Im Gesang stark an den Blues- und Jazz-Stil der Nachkriegszeit orientiert, variiert sie auch Soul-, Folk- und Spiritual-Einflaesse, ausdrucksstark und doch von dieser speziellen Laessigkeit einer Zeit, als Vocals und nicht Koerpereinsatz die Maenner zum Schwitzen brachten.