I first heard Abbey’s music when I came to New York, back in the early ’80s; I heard the Freedom Now Suite. But I got to know her better through Steve Coleman, who was working with her at the time. She did an album called Talking to the Sun, and that was when I had an opportunity to work with Abbey. She had singers then. I didn’t appear on the recording, but I did do one performance with her. I got to spend some time with her. It was really a wonderful opportunity. I’m still very sad about her passing, and it’s a little difficult to talk about her.
Getting to know her was a pleasure beyond description, because Abbey was a powerful role model for me. She was an incredible singer, musician, storyteller, lyricist, painter. … She had all these amazing talents. I loved her mind; I studied her mind and the process. She had a profound impact on my development as an artist.