Monday, April 12, 2010

Bird alone

There once was a bird alone
who lived behind and well below
the limits of its range
and flew to the edge but
could not see a reason
to continue but did

Abbey Lincoln can squeeze more soul into a single note than anyone I know.
She was a vixen in her day and never stopped being the diva.

I prefer the older smokey voice of mature Abbey as opposed to the younger brighter toned singer back in the day. Like a piquant bleu cheese, age has only mellowed the character of her voice. It seems that the more compromised her voice becomes the more I enjoy listening to it.

As time took its toll she simply molded jazz around her new deeper more resonant voice. And she's not afraid to use her gift. She will push a note out beyond the boundaries of reason and discretion where a lesser force might fear to tread, to the point of screeching. And then with no more effort than a raptor gliding on the breeze resolve back into form so beautifully that you are convinced that was the plan all along.

And she carries what few other musicians, much less vocalists, can lay claim to, the Thelonious Monk seal of approval. How many vocalist do you know that can say that.

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