This morning listening to Bob Perkins reminisce about the great Abbey Lincoln, who died yesterday at age 80, demonstrating her indelible style with the song Street of Dreams. About a dozen years ago Lincoln released A Turtle’s Dream which was one of her finest recordings. She came to Zanzibar Blue and was just brilliant with her stellar Turtle personnel. She crashed her voice on the harrowing and haunted Down Here Below and was completely lilting and reedy on Nature Boy and so sonic on Avec Le Temps. She had us in her vocal spell, but she was competing with the club’s restaurant noise and after around six songs that had glass, plate and kitchen noise accompaniment (not to mention patrons who just continued talking) Lincoln pronounced “We’re not a back-up band.” She said that if the management wasn’t going to contain the noise she was leaving. They didn’t and she did, negotiating from the bandstand ” Mr.–, you can cancel our contract. Come on guys, lets pack it up.” Even though it was disappointing not hearing her whole show, it was great to report the evening and Abbey’s statement of basic respect to an artist at work.

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