John Abercrombie Quartet: Within a Song (ECM/Ode)

 |   |  <1 min read

John Abercrombie Quartet: Interplay
John Abercrombie Quartet: Within a Song (ECM/Ode)

Although we look back on the Sixties as being a decade of remarkable invention and vibrancy in jazz -- through Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman and into the early energy of free jazz -- here guitarist Abercrombie and his seasoned quartet pay a more considered and quiet tribute on material and ideas from that era.

With saxophonist Joe Lovano, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Joey Barron, Abercrombie teases out material by Rollins from The Bridge (Where Are You, Without a Song imploded into the bouncy title title track original where Lovano picks up the pace), Ornette Coleman's Blues Connotation (from This is Our Music) nailed in a very contemporary deconstruction and letting the guitarist spiral into some fragmented but melodic playing, an especially beautiful, appropriately spiritual treatment of Coltrane's Wise One . . . and acknowledgments of his influences such as Jim Hall in his soft rounded tone (on Bill Evans' Interplay) and Davis' Sketches of Spain.

Easy Reader, an orignal, is inspired by Easy Rider -- although there is not a skerrick of Steppenwolf to be heard here. This is a low and reflective piece, more about the passing of Dennis Hopper perhaps than the character of the movie.

This is a thoughtful, respectful but not too reverential album which succeeds through understatement and the gentle pace of much of the material.

Like the sound of this? Then try this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

KENNY BARRON INTERVIEWED (2017): Time makes a wine

KENNY BARRON INTERVIEWED (2017): Time makes a wine

Speaking from his home in rainy New York, 73-year old jazz pianist, composer and educator Kenny Barron sounds like he's possessed of the energy someone half his age. He is genial, quick, witty,... > Read more

McCoy Tyner: Guitars (Half Note)

McCoy Tyner: Guitars (Half Note)

This jazz giant will be 70 in December 2008 and can reflect on playing piano with the likes of John Coltrane in the 60s then a multi-faceted career as a leader, assimilator of world music... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE UNFORGIVEN, a film by JOHN HUSTON (Triton DVD)

THE UNFORGIVEN, a film by JOHN HUSTON (Triton DVD)

Not to be confused with Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven -- or the excellent if short-lived outlaw-rock band of the same name -- The Unforgiven from 1960 is one of John Huston's ambitious Westerns, cast... > Read more

GUEST WRITER ANDREW DAWSON considers Michael Houstoun's interpretations of Beethoven's piano sonatas

GUEST WRITER ANDREW DAWSON considers Michael Houstoun's interpretations of Beethoven's piano sonatas

If Chuck Berry’s hit Roll Over Beethoven was meant to dethrone the composer from his place in Western culture, it didn’t work. In the intervening years, Beethoven’s music... > Read more