14 August 2010

Abbey Lincoln

Today we lost one of the true originals. Abbey Lincoln passed away today in New York. Read Nate Chinen's obituary here. I will let others eulogize her, since I am not terribly well-versed in her work. Still, her early-1960s output included some real gems, beginning with the classic Straight Ahead, but also including her contributions to (then-husband) Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite and Percussion Bitter Sweet. She sang with a fire and passion befitting her era, and was unafraid to assert herself, both as an African American in a country where she did not yet enjoy equal rights and as a woman in a male-dominated jazz world. The world is worse off without her voice, but at least she left us with some brilliant recordings.

Image via Pieter Boersma

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