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Abbey Lincoln: Love Having You Around: Live at the Keystone Korner, Vol. 2

Last year, the frustratingly thin Abbey Lincoln catalog was significantly enriched by the release of Sophisticated Abbey: Live at the Keystone Korner, a nine-track set captured at the fabled San Francisco club. It was March 1980 and Lincoln, fronting a trio comprising pianist Phil Wright, bassist James Leary and drummer Doug Sides, had settled in for a weeklong engagement. Its selections plucked from various evenings throughout the run, the cobbled session added up to 54 sublime minutes; this second excavation-same week, same bandmates-doubles that total, spanning an additional nine tracks with no duplications.

The new assemblage opens brightly with Lincoln’s own, heartening “Talkin’ to the Sun,” followed by a brawny, Sides-fueled treatment of Stevie Wonder’s “Love Having You Around.” Lincoln then revisits what was arguably the most pivotal project of her career, We Insist!, the seismic 1960 collaboration between her future-husband Max Roach and Oscar Brown Jr. Delivering a towering rendition of the slavery-themed “Driva Man,” propelled solely by Sides’ snare slaps, which replicate whiplashes, she widens its powerful civil-rights message by inserting “or anything else” after the line “make you sorry you is black.” She again taps the Brown songbook for an eight-minute “When Malindy Sings,” based on Paul Laurence Dunbar’s beatific dialect poem, a career-arching cornerstone of Lincoln’s songbook.

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