The Music is the Magic
This ninety-minute documentary feature film on the life and work of Abbey Lincoln is Carol Friedman's first feature film. Shot in 16mm in black & white and color over a period of eighteen years, this film traces Lincoln's life and work, from her beginnings as a Hollywood Glamour girl to actor and civil rights activist to her present standing as one of the most gifted and original singers and composers of our time.
Fueled by a fierce integrity and idiosyncratic style on and off the stage, Abbey Lincoln has always gone her own way. The film features rare music performances spanning two decades here and abroad; historic footage of early broadcast performances and clips from her work as a film actress—all accompanied by Lincoln's own distinctive narrative. Commentary is provided by percussionist Max Roach, author and culture critic Gary Giddins, Music producer Jean-Philippe Allard, Director Michael Roemer, author and columnist Stanley Crouch, Jazz impresario George Wein and Lincoln's brother David Wooldridge. In addition to her performances on stage and screen, we see Lincoln as journeyman—both on the road and in the recording studio. The trajectory of her remarkable ascension as a prolific composer/lyricist is the heart of her story. Besides her ever-independent spirit, what sets Lincoln apart from so many of her contemporaries is her steadfast allegiance to practicing the arts—proficiently—and in several arenas—and the unwavering integrity that she has always sewn through all that she does. This film presents an anatomy of the history, discipline, and seemingly organic process that has hatched this most formidable and original artist.