'Up Jumped Spring': The Season In Song

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Spring arrived this past week, and guest host Susan Stamberg offers this musical bouquet for the season by the great jazz singer Abbey Lincoln.

SUSAN STAMBERG, BYLINE: Spring sprang this past week and we offer a musical bouquet to mark the season, a song I first heard on the radio in the course of a sleepless night in Santa Monica. Four A.M., semi-awake, the tune - later I learned Freddie Hubbard wrote the music, the sax belongs to Stan Getz.

The tune floated in the dark California air and then the singer began and pierced the silence with such conviction and bravery. Her sound was so lived-in that it was beyond beauty and became something else. Something that said the singer, 60-ish when this was recorded in 1991, had also had her share of sleepless nights and made it through them with her art. She also wrote the lyrics.

Here is Abbey Lincoln.


ABBEY LINCOLN: (Singing) I was out promenading and high hopes was fading that dreams have really come true, when up jumped springtime. I got to look at you. All at once it was hitting me a gaze long and steady, made sounds of the patter grow dim. And up jumped springtime and love came on in. Now my heart wants to cheer life's sweet promises here and love is a lov-er-ly thing. And we're sweethearts together like bird and the feather. Our love is as free as the wind 'cause up jumped springtime, so hello, my friend.

STAMBERG: "Up Jumped Spring," Abbey Lincoln the singer, Stan Getz tenor sax, Hank Jones piano, Charlie Haden bass. Mark Johnson drums.

With hopes from all of us to you that this new season is filled with music. This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Rachel Martin returns next week. I'm Susan Stamberg.

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