Abbey Lincoln

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Abbey Lincoln in concert, 1992

Abbey Lincoln , actually Anna Marie Gaby Wooldridge (born August 6, 1930 in Chicago , Illinois , † August 14, 2010 in Manhattan , New York City ) was an American jazz singer and actress . From a bar singer she developed with her warm alto voice to a “politically alert, socially conscious and unpretentious” song interpreter who continued “the honest tradition of Billie Holidays in an original way” ( Down Beat ).

Live and act

Anna Marie Wooldridge, who called herself Abbey Lincoln since 1956, grew up as one of twelve children on a farm near Kalamazoo ( Michigan ). Before that, she called herself Anna Marie , Gaby Lee and Gaby Wooldridge as a bar singer . She performed as a singer in high school and then went to California , where she sang in dance bands from 1951. For two years she appeared in clubs in Hawaii as Gaby Lee , after which she sang for three years in clubs in Hollywood; During this time, some pop-oriented recordings for the label Liberty (Abbey Lincoln's Affair) were made with the orchestras of Benny Carter and Marty Paich . In 1956 she made a brief appearance in the musical comedy The Girl Can't Help It .

In 1957 she sang in clubs in London and toured as the star of the musical Jamaica ; then she took an artistic U-turn after meeting Max Roach (and Bill Grauer of Riverside Records ). From 1957 she released a number of records under her name at Riverside with Max Roach on drums, who brokered her the record deal and whom she married in 1962. Her marriage to Roach divorced in 1970.

For her first riverside album That's Him , she selected material in which she “conjured up the spirit of the (...) stream of black singers of the 1920s and 1930s - Ethel Waters , Elizabeth Welch and Florence Mills , who never recorded herself - the first black women whose dignity had been taken ”. The highlight of the Riverside LPs was Abbey Is Blue (1959) with accompanying musicians such as Kenny Dorham , Julian Priester , Stanley Turrentine , Les Spann and Wynton Kelly . Her most important title was "Afro Blue"; “She structures her version in alternating instrumental and vocal sections, connected by an exciting improvisation.” Her fortune as a singer became at Max Roach's famous We Insist! Freedom Now Suite (Candid, 1960), which stands for the increased political commitment of jazz musicians and especially Abbey Lincoln in the 1960s. In 1961, Candid released her album Straight Ahead . Lincoln also worked with jazz musicians such as Sonny Rollins , Eric Dolphy , Mal Waldron , Coleman Hawkins , Jackie McLean , Clark Terry , Miles Davis and Stan Getz .

From the 1960s she tried herself as an actress ( For Love of Ivy , Nothing But a Man ), starred in television series such as Mission: Impossible and taught acting at California State University. In doing so, she neglected her career as a jazz singer (she did not record under her own name from 1962 to 1972) and did not begin to record again until 1973: The album People in Me with her own compositions and texts was only released in 1979. In addition to club engagements with their own groups, the few appearances in the following years served to support charitable organizations or politicians. In 1979 she worked on the book and production of an autobiographical play ( A Pig In A Poke ). In 1980, after a long absence, she returned to the jazz scene with concerts in New York's Village Vanguard and a European tour, but continued to devote herself to her film activities, for example in Spike Lee's Mo 'Better Blues . As a singer, she increasingly emulated her great role model Billie Holiday and released a total of three Billie Holiday tribute albums ( Abbey sings Billie Volume 1,2, Enja 1987). She made more than twenty albums; Her CD Abbey Sings Abbey was last released in 2007 by Verve Records , where she was under contract from 1990. Only since then has she made a sustainable comeback with worldwide tours, regular international festival presence and also recordings that have received much critical attention.

In 2003 she received the Jazz Masters Fellowship from the state NEA Foundation .

Discographic notes


Web links

Commons : Abbey Lincoln  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. ^ New York Times: Abbey Lincoln, Jazz Singer and Writer, Dies at 80.Retrieved June 10, 2016 .
  2. cit. according to Kunzler Jazz Lexicon
  3. On her first recording with Benny Carter ( Love Affair , 1956) she changed her name at the suggestion of the poet Bob Russell
  4. Quoted from W. Friedwald, p. 268.
  5. Quoted from W. Friedwald, p. 269.