Abbey Lincoln on writing "Let Up"

Now, A Jazz Moment...

MUSIC: "Let Up," CD: Abbey is Blue , JVC Victor 41781 (cut 3)

NEA Jazz Master Abbey Lincoln...

Abbey Lincoln: On an album called Abbey is Blue, I wrote "Let Up", a lyric. My life was really becoming oppressive. I was trying to be seen as a serious performer. And there were many people making snide ugly remarks about Abbey Lincoln.

She endured the criticism. It was 1959. By this time, Lincoln had already recorded several albums and even had a singing role in a movie. Pianist Thelonious Monk offered her some advice.

He says, "Abbey Lincoln has to make it because she's not only a great actress and singer, she's a great composer. And I took him seriously.

Monk's vote of confidence helped Lincoln develop into one of the best jazz singers and songwriters of our time.

Music: Brother Can You Spare a Dime, CD: You Gotta Pay The Band , Verve 314 511 110-2, (cut 4)

This Jazz Moment was created by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Abbey Lincoln on writing "Let Up"