I took a few lessons with John on the side while I was attending Manhattan School of Music. I was always attracted to the fact that he had a vision that came through in all he did; playing, composing and sound. The lessons with him cemented in me at an early age that I had to think larger than simply playing solos over tunes but that I had to develop a concept that would move through everything. He never said it that way but it came across in his example. He was the first guitarist I saw play in NY, when he was in Michel Petrucciani
's group opening for Jim Hall's trio. It was a chromatic dream! Pete McCann
John Abercrombie was a tremendously gifted guitarist and composer who had a profound affect on me and a generation of guitarist who grew up listening to him. Without a doubt, John would make any top 10 great jazz guitarist list. Some of my favorite Abercrombie albums: Gateway, Arcade, Night
, and Current Events
. His work with Kenny Wheeler was also stellar!
John always had a great sound, wether it was on arch-top, Les Paul, Roland Guitar Synth, or hand made instruments by Ric McCurdy. He was also a prolific composer and many of his tunes have a unique 'Abercrombie' sound. His tunes had very rich harmonies, often dark and brooding chord structures, but always a singable and memorable melody. John will be sorely missed but his music lives on.
Photo credit: Dragan Tasic