203

Abbey Lincoln: Who Used To Dance

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Abbey Lincoln is different. Although strongly influenced by Billie Holiday's dramatic feel for and presentation of a song's message, and embedded in bebop through her eight-year marriage to drummer Max Roach, the singer maintains her own distinctive manner of delivering a lyric. Seven of the nine tracks on Who Used To Dance are ballads that serve to demonstrate the graininess in Lincoln's voice, the long, tied-together whole note phrases, and the carefully articulated words; these are some of the characteristics that we connect with Abbey Lincoln.

The title track features tap-dancer Savion Glover working out for over nine minutes while Lincoln and the piano trio deliver the melodramatic ballad. His approach is to assume the role of an additional accompanist, selecting triplets alongside the singer's legato quarter notes and varying the volume dynamics by spacing his phrases differently. For example, when the tune turns at midstream to a soft-spoken bass solo, Glover spaces his steps at wider intervals so as to allow the lyricism of Michael Bowie's acoustic bass to garner attention.

Alto saxophonists Frank Morgan, Steve Coleman, Oliver Lake, Justin Robinson, and Riley Bandy III provide feature work, and the rhythm team of pianist Marc Cary, bassist Michael Bowie, and drummer Aaron Walker provide appropriate ballad accompaniment. The familiar Dylan tune "Mr. Tambourine Man" proves exceptionally charming, with the bass strumming throughout and the drummer's brushes flip-flopping, while tenor saxophonist Julien Lourau leans toward multiphonics and an avant-garde side of jazz. Frank Morgan blends his light, yet fluid, saxophone tone with Lincoln's voice on "When Autumn Sings" and "Love Lament." He also provides several insightful solos. "Love What You Doin" provides an opportunity for saxophonists Coleman, Lake and Bandy to work together accompanying Lincoln, and each has a share of the spotlight. Elsewhere, Coleman is featured on "Street of Dreams" and Bandy is featured on "I Sing a Song."

"The River" enlists a different rhythm section and offers a widely different view of Abbey Lincoln's work. She composed the song, wrote the poignant lyrics, and provides space here for cornetist Graham Haynes and saxophonists Robinson & Lake to pump up the excitement. Recommended.


Track Listing: Love Has Gone Away; Who Used To Dance; Love Lament; Mr.Tambourine Man; When Autumn Sings; Love What You Doin'; Street of Dreams; I Sing a Song; The River.

| Record Label: Verve Music Group | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Anatta" CD/LP/Track Review Anatta
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 3, 2016
Read "Pale White Shout" CD/LP/Track Review Pale White Shout
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 10, 2016
Read "The Real Deal" CD/LP/Track Review The Real Deal
by James Nadal
Published: June 12, 2016
Read "Come Together" CD/LP/Track Review Come Together
by James Nadal
Published: May 27, 2016
Read "Daylight Ghosts" CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Got A Mind to Give Up Living: Live 1966" CD/LP/Track Review Got A Mind to Give Up Living: Live 1966
by Doug Collette
Published: June 11, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!