Though no one knew the recording existed, it’s almost as if Nina Simone suspected her July 2, 1966, set at the Newport Jazz Festival would someday be a live album. 

For despite sonic limitations of wind in the mics – Simone mentions the weather during “Be My Husband” – and nonexistent high end, You’ve Got to Learn captures the singer and pianist at an artistic peak. 

Backed by a rhythm section and electric guitar, Simone’s six-song, 30-minute set is a stunner – filled with such essential songs as the Gershwins’ “I Loves You Porgy,” the straight-up blues of “Blues for Mama” and a swinging jazz arrangement of “Mississippi Goddam.” The latter would be the definitive version if captured pristinely, but it’s still pretty close. 

And when Simone serenades the pin-drop-quiet audience with a fragile “Music for Lovers” encore to wrap the appearance, her vocal brilliance comes alive one more time.