Abbey Lincoln, was an American Jazz vocalist, songwriter, and actress, who wrote and performed her own compositions. Abbey Lincoln (Anna Marie Wooldridge) was born on August 6, 1930 and passed along on August 14, 2010. One of the many singers influenced by Billie Holiday where she often visited the Blue Note jazz club in New York City. Lincoln’s lyrics were often connected to the civil rights movement in America.
During the 1990s and until her death, Abbey fulfilled a 10-album contract with Verve Records. These recordings are highly regarded in the jazz world and represent a crowning achievement in Lincoln’s career.
Listen to Abbey Lincoln on ITUNES.
Here is a wonderful live performance (below) of Abbey Lincoln singing “Midnight Sun” with the incredibly talented Lionel Hampton. The second video is a beautiful recording of “Throw It Away”, written and performed by Abbey Lincoln. Some may know this to by Esperanza Spalding’s recent cover of Abbey’s “Throw It Away.”
Abbey Lincoln Quartet (Live) – Lionel Hampton/Midnight Sun
Abbey Lincoln – Throw It Away
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The apple does not fall far from the tree. A few weeks ago we featured the legendary Donny Hathaway on our Sunday Jazz Corner and in it we briefly mentioned his daughter Lalah. This week it is all about Lalah Hathaway, daughter of the jazz and R&B great Donny Hathaway. Though she may be under the radar to some, if you do not already know about Lalah, you will know about her soon as she continues to rise at a rapid pace amongst her peers.
Born as Eulaulah Donyll Hathaway, Lalah Hathaway is referred to as the First Daughter of Soul. She is considered a contemporary R&B and jazz singer. In a sea of high pitched soprano female pop culture singers, it is so refreshing to hear Lalah Hathaway in the mix. There is something about her texture and tone in the same context as Sade or Sarah Vaughan and other infectious swooners that just makes you feel good inside. When you think of pop culture singers these days, you emmediatialy think Beyonce, Rihanna, pop, Hip Hop, soul etc. But with the Esmaralda Spalding’s and Janelle Monae’s and other newbies quietly making themselves heard, please take note of Lalah Hathaway and check out her music on iTunes.
The first video you will listen to below is “Something” by Snarky Puppy featuring Lalah Hathaway. I was referred to it by a friend and watched blindly, and unprepared. I started off listening, watching calmly, inquisitively, maybe slightly judgmental, sitting in my chair… watching, waiting… and as it continued I started getting this feeling, this emotion inside of me. I sat up straight in my chair and tuned everything else out around me. Now, in one hundred percent concentration mode listening and watching this video in front of me, completely committed with Lalah and her performance I begin talking to my computer screen… next, I am standing, now I’m yelling at my computer, clapping, cheering!! Alone in my apartment, goose bumps running all through my body up and down my spine I sit back down. Of course because I’m a man, I did not cry. Maybe just one tiny tear but I fixed that real quick and like I said, I was alone and nobody was there to see a thing.
I think jazz, gospel, good soul, rock whatever, is supposed to make you, make us feel this way, right? Sometimes rarely, music can take you there to this place and so when you do feel it and are a part of the art and why music exists in the first place, it is such a great experience. So ya, that’s kind of what my experience with Lalah was like. And just remember, nobody cried here!
Here are two videos below one Live in Harlem with Robert Glasper at Marcus Garvey Park, and the first one is by Snarky Puppy “Something” featuring a live recording of Lalah Hathaway. I could have posted 20 more like this but I kept it down to two. While writing this piece and listening to this music all I could think of was all of the music that we still can look forward to with future recordings of Lalah Hathaway.
P.S. At the 6:12 minute mark of this song does she sing a chord? I think she sang a chord!! And I love the drummers reaction, he literally got out of his seat as if to say, what just happened.
Singing with Robert Glasper in Harlem, Live at Marcus Garvey Park in August 2012, a classic Nirvana rock song “Smells Like Teen Spirit ” with a jazz twist. Brilliant.
To see more Sunday Jazz Corner Archives (Billie Holiday, Chet Baker, Sarah Vayghan, Cag Calloway and more…)
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For those who don’t know, you need to know. For those who do know, you don’t need me telling you why Rachelle Ferrell is so respected and admired by all of our musical greats and in the jazz community. There is a reason Jennifer Hudson, Gladys Night, Stevie Wonder and the list goes on and on, can be found at one her live performances. With a little bit of Sarah Vaughan to a little bit of just about everything but the kitchen sink, this contemporary jazz artist creates, channels and delivers styles that nobody has even heard of yet. This is someone that was born to sing and perform music. We hear over and over about certain singers and hopeful talent rising up in the business who are tagged with the word unique. I’m encouraged to watch these new singers to develop and grow. Rachelle Ferrell on the other hand is the definition of the word “unique.”
But don’t take my word for it just listen to what “the voice” can do.
Here are two videos (live) below showing off her jaw dropping vocal abilities and her passionate commitment in how it is delivered.
Rachelle Ferrell – I Can Explain (live)
Rachelle Ferrell & Jennifer Hudson, Improvisational (live) moment on stage
Visit her great collection of music on iTunes.
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Ella Fitzgerald was known as the “Queen of Jazz“. An American jazz vocalist with impeccable diction, phrasing and a vocal range spanning three octaves. She would create and change the notes spontaneously with an effortless improvisational style in perfect pitch while we all watch and listen in awe. There was no auto tuning here. There were no simple three note melodies. This was the real deal. Ella set the bar high for everyone to follow. Whether you are a lover of jazz or not, it would be difficult not to recognize her God-given talent.
Listen and witness a master at work giving off a joyous smile as she makes it all look so simple. Especially with her style of scat singing. I wonder who can sing like her today out of all our new singers? I hope that there is someone, or that a young talent will grow and meet her expertise someday.
She really had something special and gave us everything, every time with every recording and live performance. Take a minute to read a bit of history on this musical genius Ella Fitzgerald.
Here she is performing a live 7:00 minute uptempo version of “The Man I love.”
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Nat King Cole (Nathaniel Adams Coles) was born on March 17, 1919 and passed away on February 15, 1965. He first was known as a leading jazz pianist but went on to be widely noted and adored for his soft, baritone voice.
Cole was one of the first African Americans to host a television variety show, The Nat King Cole Show, and has maintained worldwide popularity since his death from lung cancer in February 1965.
Here is a live performance of Nat King Cole singing “Nature Boy.”
Posted in Entertainment, Harlem, Music, New York City, Sunday Jazz Corner Tagged with: @HarlemHCL, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, HarlemCondoLife.com, jazz, jazz pianist, Jazz Vocalist, Nat King Cole, New Orleans, Sunday Jazz Corner, The Nat King Cole Show