The band, with Michael Bowie on double-bass and the scolded Marc Carey on piano, is just about the best that her money can buy and she relies on them to take the strain constantly, often retiring from the mike to sit on a chair and gaze out at them with a mixture of ownership and admiration. At 65, she remains a formidably sexual performer and the group are treated mean to keep 'em keen, like amorous suitors to be flirted with, given a wide-eyed come-on and then unsentimentally spurned as she turns her back to them and goes inside herself once again like an African ice-maiden. When the sax star James Carter, who had opened the show, comes on to pay his musical respects, he is dallied with unmercifully and made to play for far longer that he expects.
Alternating original compositions with standards like Fats Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz", Lincoln continues at her own self-possessed pace until suddenly she decides that enough is enough and begins to leave the stage. The crowd rushes to give her an ovation and she returns, but an almost inaudible squawk of taped music from the back of the hall offends her and she throws a wobbly. At last, she relents and sings another song but the spell has been broken and her point proved emphatically: we need her more than she needs us. Used, abused, chewed up and spat out - and loving every minute of it - we depart the presence of the diva.Reuse content