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Abbey Is Blue


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Audio CD, April 1, 1990
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$10.18 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Abbey Is Blue + That's Him! + Abbey Sings Abbey
Price for all three: $34.96

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Editorial Reviews


1. Afro-Blue
2. Lonely House
3. Let Up
4. Thursday's Child
5. Brother, Where Are You?
6. Laugh, Clown, Laugh
7. Come Sunday
8. Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise
9. Lost In The Stars
10. Long As You're Living

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 1, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Original Jazz Classics
  • ASIN: B000000Y4A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,601 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Wim Durang on August 11, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Abbey Lincoln is one of the great jazz legends. Unfortunately, there are too many of those... So not all received the same fame as Ella, Billie and Sarah. Since I discovered her, Abbey Lincoln keeps impressing me, and quickly found a place of honour in my music collection. She is one of a kind and an intelligent and creative artist, going more experimental later on in her career. It sure is no coincidence that she worked with so many great musicians!

I liked to read somewhere that she is rather an "actress with a song" than a singer, with her intense, emotive interpretations. As far as I'm concerned, Abbey even beats her hero Billie Holiday a few times (check also Abbey's 1957 album "That's Him", with "Don't Explain" and "My man").

Indeed, "Abbey is blue" (from 1959) is an essential early recording of Abbey Lincoln. Apparently, Abbey Lincoln was the first to record a sung version of the standard "Afro-Blue", a great opener here.

The aching "Let up" reminds me strongly of Nina Simone (which whom she has the political character of her work in common), yet... it was written by Abbey Lincoln herself!

There's more than a few haunting songs on this album (what's in a name?)! "Lost In The Stars", "Brother, Where Are You?", "Laugh, Clown, Laugh", ... fantastic!!

I wonder how many singers could make the very simply arranged "Lonely house" so captivating as this!

High quality blue atmosphere !
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By David Scott on May 10, 1999
Format: Audio CD
No collection of vocal jazz should be without this. Abbey's versions of Kurt Weill's "Lonely House" and especially "Lost in the Stars" are classic. Many of the performances are imbued with the spirit of the times as well; you can't hear this album and not think about the nascent Civil Rights Movement. A deeply moving and human experience.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Balanced Point of View on October 20, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I was first introduced to Abbey Lincoln through film. I have in my collection "For Love of Ivy" in which she co-stars with Sidney Poitier. Also, "Nothing But a Man" in which she co-stars with Ivan Dixon. The films are timeless pieces. I play them again and again. Sidney and Abbey are FUNNY, FUNNY, FUNNY in "For Love of Ivy." (Check them out.)

I knew Abbey sang BUT I didn't know how WELL she sang. Smooth, controlled flexible, melodic tones. Lyrics that had/have significance - then and now. If you like jazz, check out the listening samples and add "Abbey is Blue" to your shopping cart. Shirley Horn - may she rest in peace - is another forgotten notable, as well. She sang the opening and closing theme song to "For Love of Ivy." (Her name is nowhere to be found on the credits - at least not on the VHS I purchased.) Broaden your musical palate.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Argonaut on March 10, 2009
Format: Audio CD
There is a haunting melancholy undertone to this recording, reflective of the mood in this country at the time; yet, it remains a seminal piece of work by this amazing artist. Abbey Lincoln is essentially a poet, able to translate nuances into song without over-embellishment, and through impeccable phrasing. 'Afro Blue' and Brother, Where Are You?' are probably my favorite tracks but they are all great. I've had the pleasure to see Abbey Lincoln perform twice in the last decade or so, and her artistry only continues to grow. She write much of her material herself. I believe she is one of the great jazz singers and poets of our time.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"Abbey is Blue" is an exquisite and unique recording. Recorded in 1959, the material is probably as radical as a jazz singer could get at that time without turning off the mainstream audience. In many ways, it is a precursor to her "Straight Ahead" album which was released two years later and which gave a sharper voice to her social and political outlook. "Abbey is Blue" is not an album of traditional love songs. However, her highly developed singing style and incisive delivery guarantees that the listener pays attention not only to her singing but to what she has to say.
Although her singing has been compared to Billie Holiday, we should not make too much of this comparison. After all, it was hard to be a female jazz singer in the 50's and not be influenced to some extent by Billie Holiday. Abbey's approach to singing is very much her own.
Duke Ellington's "Come Sunday" is a great example of her ability to transform an already great song and infuse it with a sense of melancholy and pathos that few other singers could evoke. She takes Kurt Weill songs and makes them sound as if the composer came straight out of Alabama. "Afro-Blue" may sound a little dated in terms of its evocation of African-American heritage but in 1959 this was truly progressive stuff. Abbey's version of "Laugh Clown Laugh" (originally a hit for Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians in 1928!) take us light years beyond the original and in her hands becomes a searing testament to the mood of the early Civil Rights era.
This is sophisticated music by an exceptional singer backed by some of the finest musicians of the time including Kenny Dorham, Max Roach and Wynton Keely just to name a few. If you want to get to know Abbey Lincoln's music, this is a great place to begin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By toronto on August 30, 2010
Format: Audio CD
This is a great album, only marred by some bad mike placement -- some of the tracks sound like they were recorded in someone's basement.
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