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Abbey Lincoln
Wholly Earth
Verve Records CD 559538, 1999 (68:29)

Mother Earth music

Dan Macintosh

Abbey Lincoln, with her unique fullbodied voice, has released an eco-centered modern jazz album with "Wholly Earth."

The songs have planetary titles like "Midnight Sun," Look to (the) Star" and "Another World." Lincoln–who wrote the lion's share of these songs–uses the environment around us as a metaphor to try and comprehend the oftentimes  Lost In Space nature of love, and affairs of the heart.

Lincoln's busiest collaborator here is vibe player Bobby Hutcherson, who also plays marimba in many places. He's heard to especially noteworthy effect on "Midnight Sun," where Lincoln truly sounds like she's channeling the late great Sarah Vaughn, the voice she's often compared with.

Overall, "Wholly Earth" suffers from being a little too wholly same-y. There's a laid back vibe that just starts to lull the listener after a while.

Nevertheless, there's no questioning the great singing of Lincoln, who always sounds spot-on, no matter what galaxy she happens to inhabit.

performers  Abbey Lincoln, vocals; Bobby Hutcherson, vibes and marimba; Marc Cary, piano; John Ormond, bass; Alvester Garnett, drums; and special guests: Nicholas Payton, trumpet and flugelhorn; James Hurt, piano; Michael Bowie, bass; Daniel Moreno, percussion; Maggie Brown, vocals;

songs  And It's Supposed to Be Love · Midnight Sun · Wholly Earth · Look to (the) Star · Another World · Conversation With a Baby · If I Only Had a Brain · Another Time, Another Place · Caged Bird · Learning How to Listen

Copyright © 2000 Peppercorn Press. All rights reserved.