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Abbey Lincoln

As with her hero Billie Holiday, Abbey Lincoln always meant the lyrics she sang. A dramatic performer whose interpretations were full of truth and insight, Lincoln actually began her career as a fairly lightweight supper-club singer. She went through several name changes (including Anna Marie, Gaby Lee, and Gaby Woolridge) before settling on Abbey Lincoln. She recorded with Benny Carter in 1956 and performed a number in the 1957 Hollywood film The Girl Can't Help It. Lincoln's first of three albums for Riverside (1957-1959) had Max Roach on drums and he was a major influence on her; she began to be choosy about the songs she sang and to give words the proper emotional intensity. Lincoln held her own on her early dates with such sidemen as Kenny Dorham, Sonny Rollins, Wynton Kelly, Curtis Fuller, and Benny Golson. She was quite memorable on Roach's Freedom Now Suite, showing some very uninhibited emotions. Lincoln's Candid date Straight Ahead (1961) had among its players Roach, Booker Little, Eric Dolphy, and Coleman Hawkins, and she made some important appearances on Roach's Impulse! album Percussion Bitter Suite.

Abbey Lincoln and Max Roach were married in 1962, an association that lasted until 1970. They worked together for a while but Lincoln (who found it harder to get work in jazz due to the political nature of some of her music) became involved in acting and did not record as a leader during 1962-1972. She finally recorded for Inner City in 1973 and gradually became more active in jazz. Her two Billie Holiday tribute albums for Enja (1987) showed listeners that the singer was still in her prime, and she recorded several excellent sets for Verve in the 1990s. In the following years, she released a handful of recordings including Over the Years in 2000; It's Me in 2003; and her final recording, Abbey Sings Abbey, in 2007. Abbey Lincoln died in New York City on August 14, 2010; she was 80 years old. Because she put so much thought into each of her recordings, it is not an understatement to say that every set she issued is well worth owning. ~ Scott Yanow
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Abbey Sings Abbey

1. Blue Monk

2. Throw It Away

3. And It's Supposed To Be Love

4. Should've Been

5. The World Is Falling Down

6. Bird Alone

7. Down Here Below

8. The Music Is The Magic

9. Learning How To Listen

10. The Merry Dancer

11. Love Has Gone Away

12. Being Me

x

Track List: It's Me

1. Skylark

2. Love Is Made

3. Chateaux De Joux

4. It's Me, O' Lord

5. They Call It Jazz

6. Through The Years

7. Runnin' Wild

8. The Maestro

9. The Search

10. Yellow Bird

11. Can You Dig It

x

Track List: Over The Years

1. When The Lights Go On Again

2. Blackberry Blossoms

3. Somos Novios

4. A Heart Is Not A Toy

5. I Could Write It For A Song

6. I'm Not Supposed To Know

7. Windmills Of Your Mind

8. Lucky To Be Me

9. What Will Tomorrow Bring

10. Tender As A Rose

x

Track List: Wholly Earth

1. And It's Supposed To Be Love

2. Midnight Sun

3. Wholly Earth

4. Look To The Star

5. Another World

6. Conversations With A Baby

7. If I Only Had A Brain

8. Another Time, Another Place

9. Caged Bird

10. Learning How To Listen

x

Track List: Who Used To Dance

1. Love Has Gone Away

2. Who Used To Dance

3. Love Lament

4. Mr. Tambourine Man

5. When Autumn Sings

6. Love What You Doina*

7. Street Of Dream

8. I Sing A Song

9. The River

x

Track List: A Turtle's Dream

1. Throw It Away (1995)

2. A Turtle's Dream

3. Down Here Below

4. Nature Boy

5. Avec Le Temps

6. Should've Been

7. My Love Is You

8. Storywise

9. Hey, Lordy Mama

10. Not To Worry

11. Being Me

x

Track List: Devil's Got Your Tongue

1. Rainbow

2. Evalina Coffey (The Legend Of)

3. Story Of My Father

4. A Child Is Born

5. People In Me

6. A Circle Of Love

7. Jungle Queen

8. The Merry Dancer

9. Devil's Got Your Tongue

10. Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year

11. The Music Is The Magic

x

Track List: You Gotta Pay The Band

1. Bird Alone

2. I'm In Love

3. You Gotta Pay The Band

4. Brother, Can You Spare A Dime

5. You Made Me Funny

6. And How I Hoped For Your Love

7. When I'm Called Home

8. Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams

9. Up Jumped Spring

10. A Time For Love

x

Track List: The World Is Falling Down

1. The World Is Falling Down

2. First Song

3. You Must Believe In Spring And Love

4. I Got Thunder (And It Rings)

5. How High The Moon

6. When Love Was You And Me

7. Hi-Fly

8. Live For Life

x

Track List: Talking To The Sun

1. The River

2. Whistling Away The Dark

3. Talking To The Sun

4. You And I

5. People On The Street

6. You're My Thrill

7. Prelude (A Wedding Song)

x

Track List: Abbey Is Blue

1. Afro-Blue

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 A Morning Sunrise

9. Lost In The Stars

10. Long As You're Living

x

Track List: It's Magic

1. I Am In Love

2. It's Magic

3. Just For Me

4. An Occasional Man

5. Ain't Nobody's Business

6. Out Of The Past

7. Music Maestro Please

8. Love

9. Exactly Like You

10. Little Niles

x

Track List: That's Him !

1. Strong Man

2. Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe

3. My Man

4. Tender As A Rose

5. That's Him

6. I Must Have That Man

7. I Must Have That Man (Take 3)

8. Porgy

9. Porgy (Take 1)

10. When A Woman Loves A Man

11. Don't Explain

Comments

Report as inappropriate
I was blessed by attending her last NO Jazz Fest performance. A truly amazingly under appreciated artist!
Report as inappropriate
Class, Sweet, Diva... etc. Thank you Pandora.
Report as inappropriate
Ms Lincoln's music was introduced to me by my local librarian 1992. Afro Blue. I still get lost in her voice. Miss you Abbey.
Report as inappropriate
I love this lady, after hearing her perform at yoshi's it was in Berkely.... friends envited me to hang out I so enjoyed her, I missed those days but still enjoy her recordings
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I LOVE EVERYTHING MS LINCOLN HAS EVER DONE !!!! X
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I first learned of Abbey in the early sixties. She was my inspiration for cutting my hair and going natural. I am still listening.

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God gift to us
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love love love her my girl
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I never heard of her until now, but what a powerful, beautiful voice!
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musikinme
why is this a biography for stan getz??
Report as inappropriate
First time hearing her. Listened to the entire song, enraptured.. What a wonderful singer.
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Great stuff, just heard of her passing recently, she will be missed. But will always be remembered through her beautiful recordings.
Report as inappropriate
granmaggie
Bird Alone! Abbey spoke to my life and my heart in a most unimaginable way. I saw one of her last performances in Washington at the Kennedy Center, she was amazing. We are so lucky to have her rich body of work to enjoy, anytime.
Report as inappropriate
writeworks
People in Me is missing from this discography. Some of her best work was on that one -- "Africa" particularly masterful.
Report as inappropriate
"you can never lose a thing that belongs to you"
Goodbye Aminata Moseka and thank you.
Report as inappropriate
abbes3
I loved hER music since the frist time i heard it many years ago,Her lyrics have always spoke my heart. Bye Ms MOSEKA/ LINCON LOVE ALEX
Report as inappropriate
Knew nothing of her until after her passing. Really hate that I missed being able to see her in person. Rest in Peace.
Report as inappropriate
repsach23
Heard a couple of former NPR interviews occasioned by her death. Recognized her name but little more. Sorry it took me so long to really listen to her music. Classy performer and lady too.
Report as inappropriate
Read of her death.You tubed her.MY GOD this is GOOD STUFF.
Report as inappropriate
Rest well Ms. Lincoln. We love you and have a recorded legacy to help us remember.
Report as inappropriate
WHAT A WONDERFUL ARTIST!
I WAS JUST LISTENING TO HER YESTERDAY.
WHAT A CONTRIBUTION SHE HAS MADE!
Report as inappropriate
May she rest, peacefully.. . . .
Report as inappropriate
robin.lattin
This Bio does not do her justice, and does not even include her African name-Aminata Moseka.
Report as inappropriate
I think Abbey Lincoln is wonderful. The perfect blend of Billie Holiday and Cassandra Wilson. Her music always touches you, and speaks to your moods.
Report as inappropriate
I love hearing "Bird Alone" for my birthday! Thank you Ms. Lincoln!
Report as inappropriate
modestocogan
First time I've heard her! I've been missing out!
Report as inappropriate
i love her
Report as inappropriate
The world needs a stiff drink and an Abbey Lincoln led U.N. band
Report as inappropriate
I absolutely adore this woman and it's about time you included her masterpiece "A Turtle's Dream"! I was wondering why it wasn't included in her discography.

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