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Abbey Is Blue

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Abbey Is Blue
Studio album by
RecordedSpring and Fall, 1959
New York City
RLP 12-308
ProducerBill Grauer and Orrin Keepnews
Abbey Lincoln chronology
It's Magic
Abbey Is Blue
Straight Ahead

Abbey Is Blue is the fourth album by American jazz vocalist Abbey Lincoln featuring tracks recorded in 1959 for the Riverside label.[1]


Professional ratings
Review scores
All About Jazz[2]
New York Age[5]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings[6]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide[8]
The Virgin Encyclopedia of Jazz[9]

AllMusic awarded the album 4½ stars, with the review by Scott Yanow stating: "Abbey Lincoln is quite emotional and distinctive during a particularly strong set... very memorable".[3] All About Jazz also gave the album 4½ stars, with David Rickert calling it "a breakthrough performance in jazz singing", and observing: "With the civil rights movement looming over the horizon, no longer did singers need to stick with standards and Tin Pan Alley tunes and could truly sing about subjects that mattered to them. Lincoln picked up Billie Holiday's skill at inhabiting the lyrics of a song and projecting its emotional content outward, and these songs, all of which deal with sorrow, are stark and harrowing accounts of loss and injustice."[2] Chris Ingalls of PopMatters commented: "The choice of compositions is consistently interesting... and stands apart from so much of the music released during this time... Lincoln was intent on infusing the album with elements of civil rights issues so important to her then and throughout the rest of her life, and it doesn't hurt that her vocals on these standards absolutely soar with emotion and deft technique."[7]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Afro Blue" (Mongo Santamaría, Oscar Brown) - 3:20
  2. "Lonely House" (Langston Hughes, Kurt Weill) - 3:40
  3. "Let Up" (Abbey Lincoln) - 5:32
  4. "Thursday's Child" (Elisse Boyd, Murray Grand) - 3:31
  5. "Brother, Where Are You?" (Oscar Brown) - 3:10
  6. "Laugh, Clown, Laugh" (Ted Fio Rito, Sam M. Lewis, Joe Young) - 5:24
  7. "Come Sunday" (Duke Ellington) - 5:13
  8. "Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise" (Oscar Hammerstein II, Sigmund Romberg) - 2:46
  9. "Lost in the Stars" (Maxwell Anderson, Kurt Weill) - 4:11
  10. "Long as You're Living" (Oscar Brown, Julian Priester, Tommy Turrentine) - 2:33



  1. ^ Riverside Records discography accessed September 13, 2012
  2. ^ a b Rickert, David, "Abbey Lincoln: Abbey Is Blue", All About Jazz, October 16, 2005.
  3. ^ a b Yanow, Scott, AllMusic Review, accessed September 13, 2012.
  4. ^ DeMichael, Don (26 May 1960). "Abbey Lincoln: Abbey is Blue". DownBeat. Vol. 27, no. 11. p. 38.
  5. ^ Stone, Louise Davis (13 February 1960). "The Jazz Bit". New York Age. p. 12. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  6. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.). Penguin. p. 894. ISBN 978-0-141-03401-0.
  7. ^ a b Ingalls, Chris (June 15, 2021). "Abbey Lincoln's Classic 'Abbey Is Blue' Gets a Richly Deserved Vinyl Reissue". PopMatters. Retrieved March 4, 2024.
  8. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 126. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  9. ^ Larkin, Colin, ed. (2004). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Jazz. Virgin Books. p. 538.