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Abbey Lincoln: Straight Ahead Teil 1 : 2 : 3 : 4 : 5 : 6 : 7 : 8 : 9

I want to believe that for a broadening circle of long time listeners to "The Music" Abbey Lincoln is synonymous with "The State of the Art" as far as the instrumentally "re-defined" blues song. After Al Jolson or with Kenny G, its difficult to say "Jazz " and attach it to something profound, without a grim shrug in acknowledgement of the disingenuous commercialism heaped on the term almost since it's inception.
     But if we are meaning "blue song", transformed by instrumental adaptation of rhythm and the harmelodic expansiveness of improvisation as acknowledged reorganization of the line the beat the melody the harmonic relationships, then we are talking about Ethel Waters, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Abbey Lincoln. This is not meant to be exclusive, in the sense that nobody else could do this. Betty Carter, Carmen McRae, among others, talking about female artists in the music. They have to be mentioned. Just as in the realm of the straight up Blues, Bessie, Ma Rainey, Aretha from the jump.
     But from the particular perspective I'm coming from, the combining of the most traditional Blues feeling, sound, timbre, content, transformational form, with the constantly reconfigured newest renewal which creates the continuum of the music, from its various innovators, then these singers are the music's vocal pantheon.
     Abbey Lincoln, like the most expressive re-definers of tradition, has absorbed it seems, all of the past, recent as it is, and with the chemical equation of her own life and experience, threaded through the rational process of general and musical intelligence honed to light with the endless practice that produces high skill, carries and offers freely, a vocal artistry, right now on this planet, that is the main paradigm for revelation in this time and the next.
     As voice, instrument, narrator, dramatist, actress, creator of the mise en scene, auteur, improviser, melodist, poet, Abbey Lincoln moves without peer. Knowing her music is to know a lot about Abbey Lincoln, as it is with the deepest artists. Because so much of their whole feeling thoughtful combined selves are used to create their art.
     So the sensitive lyricism, the blade sharp insight very often touched with a droll but wistful humor, the emotional revelation that is one constant dimension of her singing is very evident in the woman herself.

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