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Abbey Lincoln: Straight Ahead

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: 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-and very evident in the woman herself.

She lives in upper Manhattan, as they say, where the more expansive cultural motif of high-urban sophistication begins to turn, like the enjambment of a poetic line, imperceptibly toward the contrasting otherness of where the Blues People stay.

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Originally Published