‘Sinnerman’ is one of Nina Simone’s most famous songs. She turned the traditional Negro spiritual, which she had no doubt heard in her mother’s church as a little girl, into a sprawling 10-minute jazz piano epic.
Simone’s version has been sampled in modern rap songs and used in many TV shows and movies, including both the original 1968 Thomas Crown Affair and the 1999 remake. It’s easy to see why. The pulsating rhythm and raw emotional power of the track are irresistible.