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Turtle's Dream

4.9 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 6, 1995
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Editorial Reviews

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Since her 1960 recording for Candid, Abbey Lincoln has brought an unequaled passion to the jazz vocal art, an ability to invest words with special shades of meaning that recalls the spirit of Billie Holiday. Her talent has long been appreciated more by musicians than by a large general audience (perhaps because her work is so focused on maximizing the emotional potential of a lyric rather than on treating the voice as an instrument, as many jazz singers do). That respect is reciprocal: her work has always featured the finest musicians, from Eric Dolphy to Stan Getz. Lincoln composed most of the music and lyrics on this 1994 set, and each song is a journey into the self, into the wellsprings of life, from loss to joy. Her accompanists rise to the emotional occasion: fine moments are contributed by Kenny Barron, Charlie Haden, Pat Metheny, Roy Hargrove, saxophonist Julien Lourau, and Lincoln's frequent accompanist, pianist Rodney Kendrick. --Stuart Broomer
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 6, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B000001EEH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,173 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I got acquainted to Ms Lincoln through an interview I saw on television. What struck me immediately about here was the wisdom with which she made her observations on her career, on music and life in general. After that I just needed to buy her CD, which happened to be this one as this was her latest release at that time. Putting on the CD at home I sat down and was not able to move anymore after hearing the first notes of "Throw It Away": it immediately sent shivers down my spine and I was just struck by the beauty of the music. The rest of the CD is equally incredible, maybe with just the exception of the French "Avec Le Temps", but that is just a minor detail. The cast of musicians accompanying her are also top notch: Pat Metheny does some incredibly fine things on electric and acoustic guitar, pianists Rodney Kendrick and Kenny Barron both do a perfect job and a better and more subtle drummer than Victor Lewis could not be wished for. This album is about life and beauty in a way that might only be matched by Shirley Horn, although their stiles are different of course. Essential. "Who Used To Dance" and "You Gotta Pay The Band" are also very good and I have them too, but this one remains my favorite of her albums.
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Format: Audio CD
I saw Abbey when I had just graduated college at the old Iridium Club and I bought this cd because she did seem quite unusual to me. But in fact, I then put it away for many years, finding it a little melancholy. I dug it up two years ago and realized that I was just too young at the time to 'get' it. It is a hauntingly beautiful and wise album. She does not have a 'pretty' voice, but it is a mesmerizing voice that holds you and brings forth fully the meaning of each and every word that she says. Her lyrics are so significant and personal, you can't turn away from someone who is sharing such inner soul with you. The title song, Down Here Below, Not to Worry, and Being Me are my favorites- I just get enveloped in them when they are playing. You simply don't hear a collection of songs this beautiful and individual anymore. And as a side note, I have since seen Ms. Lincoln in several live performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center and she is just the hippest, most graceful, classy individual there is. A true artist.
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Format: Audio CD
I got this CD when I was about a year into my first real job, and it was exceedingly stressful and miserable -- the job, that is -- and this CD carried me through it. It is intensely and contagiously reflective, listening to this CD forced me out of my day-to-day drudgery and made me think about bigger, more significant things. After things cooled down at work I put it away for about 6 years. I just recently listened to it again and it still packs a wallop!
Miss Abbey was on some other stuff when she crafted this CD. She is the voice of experience and wisdom. There is nothing superficial about "A Turtle's Dream". She wrote most of the songs, and though they would be impressive sung by anyone, she invests each lyric with staggering pathos and clarity. Standouts are "Being Me", "Throw It Away" and the devastating title song. I love "Avec Le Temps" and I can't speak French so I have no idea what she's singing but it sounds so wonderful. Apparently, this song is a much-recorded French-language standard and I've been advised by one of my snotty French friends that Abbey's French diction is very coarse, but even he loves her version of the song. Also, she does a particularly noteworthy version of "Nature Boy". A pleasant pop standard in the hands of the great Nat "King" Cole, this song has since invited a number of loopy, idiosyncratic interpretations, but again Abbey sticks to the lyric and comes up with a real winner. In creating the mood, Lincoln is aided enormously by stellar musicians, most notably Rodney Kendrick, Charlie Haden, Pat Metheny, Roy Hargrove, and Julien Lourau. My one caveat would be that the CD is overwhelmingly melancholy -- not maudlin, just pensive. So it's not the best CD for a day at the beach.
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Format: Audio CD
For those movie aficianados, that also love good music, you will be delighted to know that Ms. Lincoln is indeed the same Abbey Lincoln who starred alongside Sidney Portier in the movie, For The Love of Ivy. Ms. Lincoln also starred in Nothing But A Man, a stirring tale woven in the fabric of the Jim Crow southern experience. Both movies give clear indications of Ms. Lincoln's magnetism on screen. Ironically, I only recently learned of Abbey Lincoln's vocal abilities, after a generous friend gave me a copy of of A Turtle's Dream. The CD came at a time I really needed to inwardly reflect and be at peace with my self. This album stirred things in me that I was previously unaware of. It revitalized me beyond measure! A Turtle's Dream is more than music..it is an awakening, brought to you through the magnanimous voice of Ms. Abbey Lincoln, who relates circumstance after (life) circumstance with a commitment to doing one better than living through it. Her voice radiates and exemplifies the indomitable spirit. The musical accompaniment to Ms. Lincoln is unrivaled...a match made in heaven for the listener. Truly a gem to cherish...and definitely to share! Bravo, Ms. Abbey Lincoln!
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