231

The John Abercrombie Quartet

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
The University of Akron
Akron, Ohio

As rarified and enchanting as the proverbial shooting star, not only was a recent performance by the John Abercrombie Quartet a special treat for music lovers, but it served the additional role of fanfare introducing a new jazz studies program at the University of Akron’s school of music headed up by trumpeter Jack Schantz. With its high ceiling and wood paneling, the small and very intimate Guzzetta Hall served as a perfect conduit for an up close and personal view of the proceedings. Contemporary violinist Mark Feldman augmented Abercrombie’s longtime trio of organist Dan Wall and drummer Adam Nussbaum and the ensemble sound and overall presentation was nothing short of captivating.
Setting up a format that would serve them well over the course of the show, things got underway with “Open Land,” the melody unfolding with different combinations of instruments falling in line as solos swelled and an articulate use of dynamics created an appealing ebb and flow. Near the end of the piece, a hint of Mahavishnu and John McLaughlin could be detected via the searing violin and guitar melody. Giving each member of the group adequate time to shine, “So Weary” was basically a trio affair with some lucid guitar work from Abercrombie, “Gimme Five” found Nussbaum using his hands on the tom-toms in atypical fashion, and both Feldman and Wall were searing in the more exploratory moments of “Free Piece Suit(e).” With an encore and meet-the-artist reception concluding the 90-minute performance, guitar freaks and jazz heads sure had an embarrassment of riches on their hands, but who’s complaining?


Shop

More Articles

Read Panama Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Panama Jazz Festival 2017
by Mark Holston
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Foundation of Funk at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom Live Reviews Foundation of Funk at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
by Geoff Anderson
Published: February 20, 2017
Read The Cookers at Nighttown Live Reviews The Cookers at Nighttown
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 16, 2017
Read Monty Alexander Trio at Longwood Gardens Live Reviews Monty Alexander Trio at Longwood Gardens
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 15, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!