Abbey Lincoln (a.k.a. Anna Marie Wooldridge) Chicago-born jazz singer and songwriter has passed away at age 80 years in her Manhattan home on August 14th, 2010...once married to legendary jazz drummer Max Roach (1962 and later divorced) she made several recordings and acted in movies with the likes of Sidney Poitier during the 1950s and 60s. Her career rekindled in the 1990s due to her songwriting abilities. Her lifetime of jazz artistry was acknowledged in 2003 by the National Endowment for the Arts when she was given their Jazz Masters Award, considered to be the USA's highest jazz honor. Abbey Lincoln's Wikipedia profile is here. The family of Abbey Lincoln has requested that donations in Ms. Lincoln's honor be made to the Jazz Foundation of America, is planning a Celebration of Life Memorial," which is expected sometime in mid-September 2010...she will be cremated and no formal funeral is planned.more details on her life at the New York Times article here. You can sign her Legacy.com guestbook by clicking here. Abbey Lincoln featured with Max Roach video here (circa 1960):
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.