With the civil rights movement looming over the horizon, no longer did singers need to stick with standards and Tin Pan Alley tunes and could truly sing about subjects that mattered to them. Lincoln picked up Billie Holiday's skill at inhabiting the lyrics of a song and projecting its emotional content outward, and these songs, all of which deal with sorrow, are stark and harrowing accounts of loss and injustice. There was a sense of social protest in the first half that is tempered with weariness from the fight (especially on Lincoln's own Let Up) and a Lonely House is surely one of the most melancholy performances on record, featuring isolation and desperation in equal measures.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Abbey Is Blue (1959)
First and foremost let me remind the few visitors that i have to keep my dear friend and brother Chris Rich over at Throwback Music in our prayers. I pray that Allah keeps his Grandmother and family in the best of spirits during this troublesome time.
I'm still getting myself settled in out here in South Dakota, which isn't that bad by the way...but i'll be slowly adding more and more of the music that has inspired, amazed, and soothed me....this is one of my favorite Jazz singers of all time.....i'm sure we're all aware of the usual divas; Etta, Lady Day, Sarah Vaughn, and of course Ms. Simone....but Miss Abbey Lincoln has been some how over looked.....my first experience with Ms. Lincoln was hearing her on Max Roach's (Ms. Lincoln's former husband) political statement album "We Insist!-Freedom Now" where she exuded the tone of that period on the song "Freedom Day"....if you haven't heard it let me know and i'll be sure to get that out to you as well......Abbey Is Blue is a rare gem in my eyes....from the opening opus "Afro Blue" Ms. Lincoln let's you know what the deal is from the start as she sets the tone draped in soft high hats and equally eloquent trumpets......here's what All About Jazz had to say:
Personnel: Abbey Lincoln: vocals; Kenny Dorham, Tommy Turrentine: trumpet; Wynton Kelly, Cedar Walton, Phil Wright: piano; Les Spann: guitar, flute; Sam Jones, Bobby Boswell: bass; Philly Joe Jones, Max Roach: drumsIn 1959 Abbey Lincoln was poised to make a truly great album, and Abbey Is Blue was it. Not only was it a breakout performance for Lincoln, who delivered on the promise she had already shown, it was also a breakthrough performance in jazz singing.
I won't talk this album up....i'll let you be the judge...but i will tell you that after you hear "Let Up" you'll definitely play it again.....come back and let me know what you think of this one with a comment or two.....
2. Lonely House
3. Let UP
4. Thursday's Child
5. Brother, Where Are You?
6. Laugh, Clown, Laugh
7. Come Sunday
8. Softly, As In The Morning Sunrise
9. Lost In The Stars
10. Long As You're Living