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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Abercrombie: The First Quartet

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In his more than thirty year career--almost exclusively with ECM--guitarist John Abercrombie has more often than not confined his formation to smaller groups ranging from solo through quartet. He has been less restricted in the style of music he creates and that diversity is demonstrated with mixed results on The First Quartet. The albums included in the three-disc set are remastered from original ECM analog recordings of Arcade (1979), Abercrombie Quartet (1979) and M (1981). All but unavailable in CD ...

REDISCOVERY

John Abercrombie: Characters

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John Abercrombie CharactersECM Records1978 Guitarist John Abercrombie's emergence as a guitarist of singularity seems, in retrospect to have happened very quickly. A band member in the horn-driven jazz-rock band Dreams alongside drummer Billy Cobham and the Brecker Brothers, as well as stints with fusion keyboardist Barry Miles, saxophonist Gato Barbieri and Cobham's own group, it was a remarkable period of evolution for the guitarist. Abercrombie made his first ECM appearance with Dave Liebman on the ...


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