Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Learning from a Great Artist: Abbey Lincoln (August 6, 1930 – August 14, 2010)

Abbey Lincoln - just getting started
NYTimes photo An introspective singer, song-writer,
actress and more - known for "unshakable integrity"

Plenty of food for living and art in this "unique one's" life...

According to recent NYTimes article and others upon Lincoln's death, the artist was" unusual in that she wrote and performed her own compositions, expanding the expectations of jazz audiences."

She worked as an artist for many decades with a break of some years following a musician (who later became her husband) into civil rights activism. She was still performing shortly before her death at 80 years of age.

"Known for her phrasing, emotion and uncompromising style, she was considered a jazz singer and actress of "unshakable integrity". who transformed her image from that of a slinky chanteuse to an oracle of hard-won wisdom"

NYTimes said in their tribute that "Her songs, rich in metaphor and philosophical reflection...combined... bold projection and expressive restraint. Because of her ability to inhabit the emotional dimensions of a song, she was often likened to Billie Holiday, her chief influence. But Ms. Lincoln had a deeper register and a darker tone, and her way with phrasing was more declarative."

"Her utter individuality and intensely passionate delivery can leave an audience breathless with the tension of real drama,” Peter Watrous wrote in The New York Times in 1989. “A slight, curling phrase is laden with significance, and the tone of her voice can signify hidden welts of emotion.”

She had a profound influence on other jazz vocalists, not only as a singer and composer but also as a role model. From Abbey, Cassandra Wilson said “I learned a lot about taking a different path...Investing your lyrics with what your life is about in the moment.”

Anna Marie Wooldridge, Better known by her stage name Abbey Lincoln, was a jazz vocalist, songwriter, and actress. Read more

Oh, she not only sang but lived surrounded by visual art she herself had created...but I'm still haunted by the message embedded in her songs on love...

1 comment:

Thinking said...

hmmm....It's a sad and lovely song
Sour grapes and tears
Something dark is going on
Going on for years

I love this song and thank you for pointing me to it dear friend.... has so many strands and streams..may take you to any direction...but where ever we turn we find love..

This is the beauty...of love.

Thanks for such beautiful post.