JANELLE MONAE & ABBEY LINCOLN / “Entrances and Exits Mixtape”

Last week I received an album that wasn’t released. The Audition would have been Janelle’s debut. And yesterday I received the news that Abbey Lincoln had died at 80 years old. Hence the title of this Mixtape. If I have not recently written about Janelle (here), and had not written extensively in the past about Abbey Lincoln (here, here, and here), I would be going deeper into their background stories. janelle monae 48.jpg Janelle's The Audition album will probably never be released, or at least not officially and not for a long time. The Audition is Janelle pre-android transformation. Call it her Dorothy album—she’s a dreamer from Kansas. You can hear the etymology of everything Janelle morphed into, see where it was coming from, and see too, what she jettisoned in her journey to the outer realms. The Audition had a lot of romantic angst, boy dumps girl, girl anxieties about lost love, etc. A lot. But it also has the blithely delivered lines about not loving, not being hurt again. The Audition also specifically mentions God and praying. Do androids believe in a deity? If they do, you’d never know it from listening to Janelle’s two commercial releases. I never thought I would be writing this but Diddy finally did something significant with his money by signing Monae to his label and underwriting her sophomore release. Prequels always, always give great insights into where the artist was coming from and trying to head to. The Audition is a full blown prequel—strong enough to be an album on its own but not bright enough to eclipse what came after it. I might be among the few who are interested in The Audition. But then again, maybe, I'm not alone. What do you think?

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If you are interested in what I have to say about Abbey Lincoln, check out the links in the second paragraph above.  Meanwhile, I’ve picked some tracks I happen to like from across her long career and hope you dig them. And, oh yeah, I also have a poem I wrote, not specifically about Abbey but about my feelings following the death of a friend. I had the opportunity to interview Abbey. She had a stunning personality. So clear, so strong, so beautiful. That’s all I wanted to say. abbey lincoln 11.jpg YESTERDAY WAS SO BEAUTIFUL (and its passing so sad)   when the day transitions it goes to night first, before there can be another day   sometimes a day has been so beautiful that in the night instead of looking forward to another day we can only grieve for what is gone   but each day is its own being each being has their own day   whatever beauty we find missing tomorrow, whatever we might miss from yesterday well, that beauty we must become   tomorrow we must be as beautiful as the departed day we mourn in the anguish of night —Kalamu ya Salaam Entrances and Exits Mixtape Playlist janelle monae the audition cover.jpg The Audition 01 “Intro” 02 “Lettin' Go!” 03 “Party Girl” 04 “Metropolis” 05 “My Favorite Nothing” 06 “Cloud 9” 07 “Star” 08 “The Chase” abbey lincoln cover 01.jpg 09 “Come Sunday” - Abbey Is Blue abbey lincoln cover 02.jpg 10 “Triptych: Prayer / Protest / Peace” - We Insist!: Freedom Now Suite abbey lincoln cover 03.jpg Straight Ahead 11 “When Malindy Sings” 12 “Blue Monk” abbey lincoln cover 04.jpg Abbey Sings Billie 13 “Crazy He Calls Me” 14 “Strange Fruit” abbey lincoln cover 05.jpg 15 “Golden Lady” - Golden Lady abbey lincoln cover 06.jpg Talking To The Sun 16 “Talking To The Sun” 17 “You And I” abbey lincoln cover 07.jpg 18 “Africa” - People In Me / Naturally abbey lincoln cover 08.jpg You Gotta Pay The Band 19 “You Gotta Pay The Band” 20 “Brother? Can You Spare A Dime?” 21 “Up Jumped Spring” abbey lincoln cover 09.jpg A Turtle's Dream 22 “Throw It Away” 23 “A Turtle's Dream” 24 “Nature Boy” 25 “Down Here Below”  

This entry was posted on Monday, August 16th, 2010 at 6:16 am and is filed under Contemporary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “JANELLE MONAE & ABBEY LINCOLN / “Entrances and Exits Mixtape””

Sue Ross Says:
August 16th, 2010 at 7:54 am

Ashé, Sweet dreams for Abbey. Thank you for that beautiful poem, Kalamu.

frAT Says:
August 18th, 2010 at 11:30 am

Yeah, I’m interested in Jenelle. I’ve listen to some of her commercial output, and I was very impresed with her Prince tribute on the BET awards, so on that note you are not alone.

I love Abbey Lincoln as a poet, performer, and revolutionary. I mysteriously, (don’t believe in coincidence) listened to a recording of Max Roach at Newport from about 1964 with Abbey fronting the quartet. To say it was awesome, powerful, moving, inspiring all would be in some way understating the fact.

mark j. Says:
August 20th, 2010 at 11:00 am

thx 4 sharing the music of janelle & abbey, 2 uniquely gifted artists. we are blessed 2 benefit from their divinely inspired work.

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