Few singers have the emotional depth and versatility of Abbey Lincoln. With a voice capable of evoking the joys and pains of life, she has carved a niche as a singer, songwriter, and storyteller for over 40 years. As a singer, she avoided “grandstanding” and rarely, if ever, improvised; she did, however, wring a lyric for its emotional content, while bringing a searing, dramatic quality to the musical line. Early in her career her rich, sustained contralto register - sometimes pierced by sudden impassioned cries - echoed the style of her idol Billie Holiday; in turn it inspired a generation of younger artists such as Cassandra Wilson. The 1970s and 80s found Lincoln recording only sporadically and there is precious little documentation of her art from this period, making these recordings from 1980 rare treasures indeed.