You are here:Home>CD Reviews>Jazz DVD / Video - CD Reviews>Great Women Singers of the 20th Century by Abbey Lincoln

Great Women Singers of the 20th Century by Abbey Lincoln

Considering the longevity of Abbey Lincoln’s career, one would think that there is an abundance of material from the great jazz singer. But, that’s hardly the case, with Lincoln subscribing to the quality over quantity approach. As a result, any new CD or DVD from the singer is a notable event.

This DVD captures Lincoln in a 1991 performance in New York City’s Promenade Theater. It was recorded during her successful comeback at the time. It’s an hour-long show featuring eight songs. Dressed entirely in red, Lincoln does what she does best - ballads. She sticks mostly to the slow stuff, and that’s not a bad thing. She shines on the beautiful "Bird Alone," one of several originals performed this evening. It is one of Lincoln’s best numbers and shows that she’s as good a composer as she is a singer. That leads into "You Gotta Pay The Band," another fine Lincoln composition. "When the party’s over and the revelry is done, you gotta pay the band that played your song," she sings.

Another highlight is her rendition of "Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?" Listen to her drop her voice and draw out the word "dime." It’s masterful. She says more with one hushed low note than most belters ever do.

These three songs make up the show’s center and serve as its emotional core. Alternating between standing and sitting in a chair that’s positioned at center stage, Lincoln also performs "Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams," "Up Jumped Spring," "A Time For Love," "When I’m Called Home," and "I’m In Love."

Saxophonist Steve Coleman and pianist James Weidman are on hand and take plenty of solos.

The downside to the DVD is that it is bare bones. It doesn’t come with any extras like an interview or behind-the-scenes look at Lincoln. And, there are no stories or any revealing between-song patter from the singer during the show.

What you get is Lincoln and her quintet performing eight songs. For Lincoln fans, having one of her performances preserved on DVD is going to be enough.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Abbey Lincoln
  • CD Title: Great Women Singers of the 20th Century
  • Genre: Jazz DVD / Video
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Kultur
  • Tracks: Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams, Up Jumped Spring, A Time For Love, Bird Alone, You Gotta Pay The Band, Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?, When Im Called Home
  • Musicians: Abbey Lincoln (vocals), James Weidman (piano), Michael Bowie (bass), Mark Johnson (drums), Steve Coleman (sax), and Maxine Road (viola)
  • Rating: Four Stars
Login to post comments