Photo credit: Enid Farber
Editor’s Note: I am a young writer. I’ll see my 33rd year in October. Recently, I became inspired by a few pieces that I’ve written about artists that have passed away, artists who mean something to me. While working on a piece about Ms. Jeanne Lee (January 25, 1939 – October 25, 2000), I read that jazz singer, Abbey Lincoln was one of her biggest influences. Reading that made me stop and reflect. Ms. Lincoln is not only an influence of mine, but a spirit guide. I recently wrote about African American, folk singer, Odetta here on P / P who I called…or wrote out to for guidance as an elder.
In this instance, I realized Ms. Jeanne Lee and I ha(d)ve something in common when it comes to our admiration for Abbey Lincoln. Ms. Lee, Odetta and Ms. Lincoln are all relatively unknown jazz musicians in mainstream America. Their quiet, powerful souls didn’t ask for much and didn’t get much at the end of their lives. I believe they deserve more.
All I have to do is tilt my head a few degrees at this very moment to see my vintage vinyl of Ms. Lincoln’s 1981 album “Golden Lady” watching over me. This is not about religion, superstition or ideology. This is about lineage, connection and realizing that these women were not alone, even if they were lost in history. They make me feel like I am not alone either.
Golden Lady – Track List
1. Sophisticated Lady
2. Golden Lady
3. Painted Lady On The Stage
4. Throw It Away
5. What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life
6. Caged Bird