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Straight Ahead [Original recording reissued]

Abbey LincolnAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Price: $12.89 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 7 Songs, 2006 $6.93  
Audio CD, Original recording reissued, 2003 $12.89  
Vinyl, 2008 $37.17  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Straight Ahead 5:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. When Malindy Sings 4:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. In The Red 8:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Blue Monk 6:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Left Alone 6:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. African Lady 3:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Retribution 3:50$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Frequently Bought Together

Straight Ahead + Abbey Is Blue + That's Him
Price for all three: $34.08

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 11, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 1961
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Candid Records
  • ASIN: B000042ODN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,059 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

This is one of vocalist Abbey Lincoln's greatest recordings, originally released in 1961. It's a testament to the credibility of her very honest music (and her talents) that Lincoln's sidemen on this date include the immortal tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins (who takes a memorable solo on Blue Monk), Eric Dolphy on flute and alto, trumpeter Booker Little (whose melancholy tone is very important in the ensemble), pianist Mal Waldron, and drummer Max Roach. Highpoints include When Malindy Sings, Blue Monk, Billie Holiday's Left Alone, and African Lady.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hangin' on from year to year... October 11, 2000
Format:Audio CD
This is widely recognized as Abbey's finest album, and I'm happy to see its back in print again. Not long after this recording her musical career was put on hiatus--apparantly no one would touch her in those troubling political times--a crying shame, as it means more albums of this caliber were not to be. (Her later recordings do hold up surprisingly well, however, quite "smoky" still, as my friend put it.) A stunning, powerful album with gutsy vocals that indict the many injustices of the day [and are still relevant]. Impressive back-up band includes Coleman Hawkins, Julian Priester, Booker Little, Max Roach. A Thelonious Monk cover with some fun lyrics. "Malindy" is the obvious classic; "Straight Ahead" and "African Lady" are two of my other favorites. A long way to go for a former supper-club singer... Maybe they'll reissue her album with then-husband Max Roach, "Freedom Now! Suite"...
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mother Lode for this Wonderful Artist January 19, 2004
Format:Audio CD
It has been 30 years since I listened to this on vinyl. I still consider it to be one of this artist's best. Her interpretations of "Blue Monk" and "When Malindy Sings" simply are unforgettable, and "African Lady" demonstrates her very strong tie to the third world. Ms. Lincoln to me is second-generation Billie Holiday. She doesn't have the widest range or the purest voice, to be sure, but what she has is the biggest heart. She comes to the table and brings it with everything she has, and in the process, creates something original. Buy this one, then one of her early '90's classics, such as "The World Is Falling Down" or "You Gotta Pay the Band", and prepare to be mesmerized.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No cute sexy music anymore September 1, 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Just take a look who's playing here : Booker Little, Eric Dolphy, Mal Waldron, Coleman Hawkins and Mr. Max Roach and more: and Monk liked the way she sang "blue monk". A great album.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Abbey and Hawk Make Memorable Musical Conversation September 14, 2010
Format:Audio CD
It's perplexing to read the numerous accounts characterizing Abbey's early work as derivative and lightweight, apparently because the material is frequently drawn from that "classic" body of work (by Berlin, Gershwin, Porter, Ellington, etc.) that has come to be known as the "Great American Songbook." A truly "original" artist is one who can take familiar material and make it fresh, vibrant and alive. In the 1950s Sinatra made his storied comeback by going back some 30 years to the "old songs" but singing them in a manner that made you believe every word, enabling you to hear these fast-fading Broadway tunes as personal, "felt" experience. In fact, the very survival and inclusion of many of the songs in the Songbook can be traced to Sinatra's definitive interpretations of them.

In the '50s Abbey had the breath control, phrasing, flexibility along with her trademark inflections and vocal power to do much the same for songs that some listeners apparently dismiss on political, not musical, grounds. Of course, it didn't hurt that she was assisted by the arranging skills and solo contributions of some of the best in the business, from Marty Paich and Jack Montrose to Sonny Rollins, Kenny Dorham, and Coleman Hawkins. But for those who would still prefer to pass up the "standards" in favor of new and original songs by the performer, "Straight Ahead" (an album title used by many distinguished jazz artists) should satisfy. Most of the tunes are Lincoln originals, or melodies like Monk's "Blue Monk" for which Abbey has provided lyrics.

Ironically, the title tune has more of a meandering than a "straight ahead" melodic quality, and though Abbey is in strong voice, one occasionally wishes the music had a bit more harmonic and melodic interest along with rhythmic drive.
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