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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ralph Towner / John Abercrombie: Five Years Later

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The long overdue release of Ralph Towner and John Abercrombie's Five Years Later, originally released in 1982, may well be the most eagerly anticipated of the Re:Solutions series that brings into print--on CD (four titles for the first time, Five Years Later previously only available for a limited time in Japan), vinyl and high resolution digital formats--seven historic ECM recordings. Add the three Abercrombie Quartet albums recorded immediately prior to Five Years Later--1979's Arcade, 1980's Abercrombie Quartet and 1981's M, planned for release later this year in an Old & New Masters Edition box--and all of these two seminal guitarists' ...

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John Abercrombie Quartet at Library and Archives Canada

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John Abercrombie Quartet TD Ottawa Jazz Festival Winter Jazz Festival, Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Canada February 15, 2014 It's always a treat to see some of your jazz heroes performing in your hometown, but it's an even greater pleasure to see some of them performing together in the same group. Guitarist John Abercrombie, pianist Marc Copland and bassist Drew Gress have been working together for nearly two decades, and they've all found their way to Ottawa, Canada at one time or another. But the chance to hear, in concert, the trio ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Abercrombie Quartet: 39 Steps

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Guitarist John Abercrombie has had a long and successful association with ECM records and for his latest release, 39 Steps, he completes his quartet with a piano. Abercombie had success with this format in the 1970s with Richie Beirach, George Mraz, and Peter Donald, but in the past 10 years his ECM releases have been more focused on his quartet with violinist, Mark Feldman. For his return to this format, Abercrombie has chosen pianist Marc Copland, making 39 Steps Copland's debut on ECM. However, Copland and Abercrombie's relationship dates back to the early '70s when they were ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peter Brendler and John Abercrombie: The Angle Below

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Peter Brendler and guitarist John Abercrombie have developed their playing partnership over a number of years, but The Angle Below is their first duo recording. Brendler--"the guy on the bass" as he's described in Neil Tesser's sleeve notes--is the nominal leader but he refers to the album as a collaboration. He's not wrong. He may be the driving force behind the project, the man who sorted out the studio, booked the dates, contacted the press and made the coffees, but as soon as the bass and guitar open “Downhill Runner" it's clear that this is a joint venture--a very successful ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

John Abercrombie Quartet: 39 Steps

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John Abercrombie has rarely played with pianists, at least in his own groups and throughout his extensive discography as a leader for ECM Records that began with the immediate classic, 1975's Timeless. Other than a brief reunion with that record's group for 1984's Night, the veteran guitarist has, in fact, only recorded with one other piano-based group, the quartet responsible for Arcade (1979), Abercrombie Quartet (1980) and M (1981)--all featuring another intrepid improviser, Richie Beirach, and slated for released in 2014 as an Old & New Masters Edition box that will finally see all three in print on CD (two ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

John Abercrombie Quartet: Within A Song

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John Abercrombie QuartetWithin A SongECM Records2012In the jazz world, one thing that keeps a lot of fans coming back for more with their favorite artists is the unpredictability factor. It may well be human nature to subconsciously form preconceptions, but with this music, it's usually best to avoid reductionist pigeonholing as, more often than not, it sets self-limiting expectations. Guitarist John Abercrombie has proven, in a career now well into its fifth decade, that just when it seems clear where he's heading, he veers unexpectedly elsewhere--though there always seems to be some ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marc Copland / John Abercrombie: Speak to Me

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Pianist Marc Copland and guitarist John Abercrombie played together for the first time in the 1970s, in drummer Chico Hamilton's group. This was when Copland was playing saxophone, before his seemingly unlikely but very successful switch to piano. Nearly forty years later, the two artists still find opportunities for musical hook-ups, contributing to extraordinary recordings like Copland's Another Place (2008) and Contact's Five on One (2010)--quartet and quintet offerings, respectively, and both for Germany's Pirouet Records. With Speak to Me, the pair explores the more intimate duo setting.In the hands of these two top level veterans, on their ...



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