John Abercrombie Quartet Live at Anthology
After more than an hour of slowly building explorations, the Abercrombie Quartet had reached a point where all the gears were meshing and their engine finely tuned. It was in this space that the highlights piled up. The quartet tore into a wild version of the Ornette Coleman gem, "Round Trip." With the "training-wheels" finally offAbercrombie became a daredevilunleashing a powerful commentary that featured wide-interval leaps, ever increasing chromatic sequences all with an unconventional sense of swing worthy of it's author. The group engaged in several episodes of wide dynamics shifting from roar to whisper and back again. Feldman's solo was his most daring yet full of powerful harmonic glissandos, trills and swoops.
It was almost all over at that point, (Abercrombie had agreed to finish by 9:00 p.m. as Anthology had a second concert scheduled that evening) . Backstage he obtained "permission" from the management to play an encore, much to the delight of the audience.
He returned to the stage and referenced another original: "Class Trip" from the ECM album of the same name. This one was a killereasily the best tune from his own pen that night. "Class Trip" alternated between an exaggerated, almost tango-like Latin groove and pure swing. Joey Baron cracked the audience up with some Han Bennick type moves on the Latin sections Abercrombie and Feldman turned in their best spots of the night. Later, the leader lamented, that they were just getting warmed up! Long sigh...