John Abercrombie Quartet
Monday, February 10, 2014
Kuumbwa Jazz Center
“…a completely unclassifiable stylist…” – JazzTimes
Over a career spanning more than forty years and nearly fifty albums, John Abercrombie has established himself as one of the masters of contemporary jazz guitar. Favoring unusual sounds, textures, and boldly chosen ensembles, Abercrombie is a relentless experimenter, working firmly within the jazz tradition, while pushing the boundaries of meter and harmony. Touring behind 2013’s beautiful ECM Records release titled 39 Steps, Abercrombie’s current quartet features Marc Copland on piano, Drew Gress on bass and Joey Baron on drums.
Abercrombie made his ECM leader debut in 1974 with the aptly named Timeless and has been one of the label’s core artists ever since. He has played on more than fifty ECM sessions, both as a leader and as a highly creative contributor to recordings with Charles Lloyd, Kenny Wheeler, Collin Walcott, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Liebman and more. Along the way his playing has evolved, becoming as he says, both more “free” as well as more “traditional.” His 2011 offering, Without A Song, featuring Joe Lovano, Drew Gress and Joey Baron, reflected upon the music that first inspired him in the 1960s; taking stock of the freedoms implied in the music of John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, and emphasizing his musical connections to Bill Evans and to the late, great guitarist Jim Hall.
Abercrombie’s revised quartet provides Marc Copland with his first appearance on an ECM release, yet the guitarist and pianist are old allies, with an association stretching back forty years. In the early 1970s both were members of Chico Hamilton’s quartet and at the dawn of fusion both played with pioneering jazz-rock band Dreams. Since the late 1990s they’ve revived their partnership in diverse contexts and have toured in formations ranging from piano-guitar duo to group Contact with Dave Liebman and Billy Hart. For much of the last decade Abercrombie and Copland have also each had bassist Gress as a regular member of their respective bands, making 39 Steps a network of trusted relationships, rounded out with Baron on drums.
Jazz ballads and lyricism predominate on this disc with six tunes from Abercrombie’s pen, two Copland tunes, one collective improvisation, and a creative deconstruction of the old standard “Melancholy Baby”. The album, produced by the legendary Manfred Eicher, is fresh, but already sounds like a classic.
John Abercrombie Quartet
DATE: Monday, February 10, 2014
VENUE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIME: 7:00 PM
PRICE: $25/Adv $30/Door, No Comps
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at: http://kuumbwajazz.org
MORE INFO: http://kuumbwajazz.org or 831-427-2227
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