When you think of a female jazz or Blues singer who sang for freedom and equality in the 60's era maybe Nina Simone or Odetta come to mind. When you think of unique female Jazz voices you may think of Billie Holiday or Sarah Vaughan. All of these women are well-known and extremely talented. Another woman equally as talented, but not nearly as well-known is Abbey Lincoln. She is a great Jazz singer who unlike the women mentioned above is still alive and working. She is still singing. Her latest album was released in 2007.
Abbey is probably most known for her work with Max Roach, a famous Jazz drummer. She and Max were married for about 6 years, but during their time together they made lots of memorable music. Abbey & Max were close friends with Maya Angelou at one time. They all spent time in Africa in the 60's. Abbey also did some acting in the movie For the Love of Ivy . I caught that movie a few months back, and it was a classic. Really a great movie. Abbey's music has been Political Jazz. If you are looking for something a little different in Jazz, I invite you to explore the music of Abbey Lincoln.