All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

162

Joe Beck & John Abercrombie: Coincidence

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
This duet album is a guitarist's dream. Both Joe Beck and John Abercrombie have unquestionable individual virtuosity plus experience in this format through previous tandem performances with Larry Coryell, John Scofield, Ralph Towner and similar luminaries. Together, they explore pillars from the traditional and more exploratory jazz canons including Mercer Ellington's "Things Ain't What They Used to Be," Miles Davis' "All Blues" and Ornette Coleman's "The Turnaround," plus new originals for the occasion, in witty and bright conversation

The interwoven riffs and rhythms of the opening "Beautiful Love" serve as both description and introduction. Its sharp yet soft accompaniment shimmers and pulses beneath the fluid and elegantly melodic leads, and it quickly proves impossible to distinguish which guitarist is playing what. Taken at a comfortable pace, "I Should Care" sounds more than familiar to these two masters—it sounds like a recorded master class. The meditative "How Deep is the Ocean" rushes past a little more quickly, and bounces colorfully upon its rhythmic waves.

On Beck's "Mikey Likes It," background guitar hammers down a muted electric blues riff —think of ZZ Top's rump-thumping classic "Tush" in the gentler hands of Pat Metheny—while lead guitar briskly inspects every corner of the tune. "All Blues" becomes its companion piece, with an opening that sings the melody in a genuine trumpet voice, before electric barbed hooks and ejaculations nimbly rumble through the accompaniment.

Coincidence is also the sound of Beck and Abercrombie enjoying the freedom that comes from playing with no rhythm section. "The Turnaround" is more or less arranged as a straight lead/rhythm blues guitar duet, but allows the duo to spacewalk further out. Almost in an instance, their lovely melodic dance through "My Romance" turns into a spacey abstraction that nestles back into the melody to close.

More than any other tune, "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" sounds like two extremely talented friends just letting it hang out; several almost psychedelic blues passages—some shaded in raw fuzz-tones—rock pretty hard considering there's no rhythm section. Which is the one thing about Coincidence: It will immediately and devastatingly knock out guitar players and other musicians but, with no bassist or drummer, non-musicians might find it hard to lock down into the groove, and thus find more challenges in pursuit of its rewards.

Sadly, Coincidence proved to be Joe Beck's last release, as he succumbed to lung cancer on July 22, 2008.



Visit Joe Beck and John Abercrombie on the web.


Track Listing: Beautiful Love; Vingt-six; I Should Care; Israel; How Deep is the Ocean; Mikey Likes It; My Funny Valentine; All Blues; My Romance; The Turnaround; Just a Waltz; Things Ain't What They Used to Be.

Personnel: Joe Beck: guitar; John Abercrombie: guitar.

Title: Coincidence | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Whaling City Sound

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Get Me Joe Beck

Get Me Joe Beck

Whaling City Sound
2014

buy
Coincidence

Coincidence

Whaling City Sound
2008

buy
Tri07

Tri07

Whaling City Sound
2007

buy
Just Friends

Just Friends

Whaling City Sound
2003

buy
Beck and Sanborn

Beck and Sanborn

Sony-Legacy Music
1996

buy
 

The Journey

Kedar Entertainment Group
1991

buy

Related Articles

Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 22, 2018
Read Brother Raymond CD/LP/Track Review
Brother Raymond
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2018
Read Frescalalto CD/LP/Track Review
Frescalalto
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 22, 2018
Read Motion CD/LP/Track Review
Motion
by Geannine Reid
Published: May 22, 2018
Read El Duende CD/LP/Track Review
El Duende
by Chris Mosey
Published: May 22, 2018
Read Walk The Walk CD/LP/Track Review
Walk The Walk
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 21, 2018
Read "In The Past" CD/LP/Track Review In The Past
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 2, 2017
Read "Contrast" CD/LP/Track Review Contrast
by Paul Rauch
Published: March 7, 2018
Read "Art in the Age of Automation" CD/LP/Track Review Art in the Age of Automation
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "Wonder Trail" CD/LP/Track Review Wonder Trail
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 3, 2018
Read "Brother Raymond" CD/LP/Track Review Brother Raymond
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2018
Read "Don't Look Down" CD/LP/Track Review Don't Look Down
by Paul Rauch
Published: March 1, 2018