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Articles | Featured | Future

FILM REVIEWS

Open Land: Meeting John Abercrombie

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John Abercrombie Open Land: Meeting John AbercrombieMusic Heritage Productions / ECM Records2018 It's almost a year to the day since the world lost John Abercrombie and, for many of his fans, that loss remains something still deeply and palpably felt. A guitarist who managed to be instantly recognizable without relying on many of the signatures that help identify most guitarists--certain approaches to phrasing and melody and specific tonal approaches amongst them--Abercrombie may not have garnered ...

FILM REVIEWS

Open Land: Meeting John Abercrombie

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John Abercrombie Open Land: Meeting John Abercrombie Music Heritage Productions / ECM Records 2018 Named after John Abercrombie's 1999 ECM album of the same name (by his trio with organist Dan Wall and drummer Adam Nussbaum, plus guests trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, violinist Mark Feldman and saxophonist Joe Lovano), Open Land finds the guitarist late in his career. Much of the ninety minute run time shows him talking about his life as a jazz guitarist and ...

LIVE REVIEWS

John Abercrombie Tribute Concert at Roulette

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John Abercrombie: Timeless--A Tribute To His Life And Music Roulette Brooklyn, NY March 26, 2018 When John Abercrombie turned off the amplifier of life in 2017, the world lost not only one of its most distinctive guitarists but also one of jazz's brightest souls. As made clear by those still casting shadows in his light, he was someone whose midnight oil burned so that others would know what lay ahead. Even so, under ...

PROFILES

John Abercrombie Remembered

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This past August the world lost one of the most distinctive voices of jazz guitar in the past 50 years. John Abercrombie's music was a strong influence and inspiration for many guitarists and musicians developing in the '80s and '90s. His sound, touch and thoughtfulness was immediately distinctive from other guitar heroes of that or any other time. He was more often lyrical and poetic than technique oriented, with a sensitivity to phrasing that seemed innate to him. A story ...

INTERVIEWS

Remembering John Abercrombie

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This interview was first published at All About Jazz in March 2002. After several years of groove-based and straight-ahead playing guitarist/composer John Abercrombie found his niche in the mid-70'’s with open-oriented Europeans and Americans who often recorded for ECM records. He has broadened his approach over the years with Eastern influences, electronics, and free music although he maintains a strong sense of the jazz tradition. He plays a variety of interactive music, refusing to be limited or compromised. ...

REDISCOVERY

Five Classic ECM Titles in High Res

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If ever there were a label that deserved to have its catalog released in a high resolution format, it's Munich's ECM Records. Since its inception in 1969, the multiple award-winning record label headed by producer Manfred Eicher has truly redefined how, initially, jazz and improvised music recordings could--and, at least for some, perhaps should--sound. Attention to the minutest detail and creating albums of such pristine clarity that every layer is clearly audible--from the loudest roar to the softest decay--has garnered ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

John Abercrombie Quartet: Up and Coming

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Up and Coming is the second release by this version of the John Abercrombie Quartet, following 39 Steps (ECM, 2013). It further cements the longtime relationship between Abercrombie and pianist Marc Copland, which extends back to when both were playing in Chico Hamilton's band in the early '70s (Copland was still playing alto saxophone then, before deciding to concentrate on the piano). They have recorded together many times: two notable examples before joining forces in this quartet are Copland's Another ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

John Abercrombie Quartet: Up and Coming

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Guitarist John Abercrombie has long been a stalwart artist for Manfred Eicher's ECM Records, steadily releasing albums as a leader since 1975's fusion masterpiece Timeless (ECM). A true guitar virtuoso, Abercrombie's adaptability and dexterous command over his instrument have secured his exalted rank within the jazz realm and beyond. Now, over 40 years after his debut, Abercrombie's inventiveness shows no signs of diminishing as he has kicked off 2017 with a new album for ECM, Up and Coming.

ALBUM REVIEWS

John Abercrombie Quartet: Up and Coming

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Starting the new year with, if not precisely a bang, a nevertheless unforgettable record whose strength lies in pristine lyricism, nuanced group interplay and writing that capitalizes on the entire quartet's appreciation of subtlety over gymnastics and refined lyricism over angularity, John Abercrombie's Up and Coming--ECM's first release of the year--is also founded strongly on the concept of relationship. The guitarist has been playing with Marc Copland since the pianist's days in the early '70s as a saxophonist ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Rale Micic / John Abercrombie / Peter Bernstein / Lage Lund: Inspired

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Inspired showcases four of the world's most accomplished jazz guitarists honoring the legacy of a fifth: the late maestro Jim Hall, an exemplar to all and mentor to many. The quartet consists of American luminaries Peter Bernstein and John Abercrombie, Norway's Lage Lund and Serbian-born Rale Micic (Rah-lay Mee-cheech). Four unique personas with one inflexible purpose: to enhance and perpetuate the vision of a friend, comrade and archetype. The album consists for the most part of songs ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

John Abercrombie on ECM - Part 1: Through the '80s

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Now that the The First Quartet set of recordings by guitarist/composer John Abercrombie from 1979-1981 has been released, it is as good a time as any to explore Abercrombie's career on ECM as a leader/co-leader, plus some his work as a sideman. There is a famous epithet from Bill Evans: “Jazz is not a what, it is a how." He is saying many things here, but essentially it is that jazz is not any particular rhythmic pattern (i.e. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

John Abercrombie: The First Quartet

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In many ways guitarist John Abercrombie's recordings with his first quartet represent his real coming of age, as a jazz guitarist, composer, and bandleader. He already had a substantial ECM discography behind him, including his fusion debut Timeless (1975); the overdubbed solo record Characters (1977); the first trio with Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette, the self-titled Gateway (1975); and his first duet record with acoustic guitarist Ralph Towner, Sargasso Sea (1976). But many of these recordings (and others ...