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Bebop Spoken There

Chris Higginbottom: "For me, I'm always happiest after a day of practice and a good gig (remember those?)." - (Jazzwise July 2020)

Johnny Mandel: "You know something? Any time you add horns to a rock rhythm section, it's going to sound like Blood, Sweat and Tears - and there's no way around it." - (Crescendo March 1970).

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11,600 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 735 of them this year alone and, so far, 3 this month (July 1).

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

CD Review: John Abercrombie - The First Quartet

John Abercrombie (gtr/mandolin guitar); Richie Beirach (pno); George Mraz (bs); Peter Donald (dms).
(Review by Lance).
I'm always wary when packages arrive from ECM - I sometimes immerse them in water before opening. Could be a musical timebomb which, in a sense, this is!
The three CDs that comprise The First Quartet, released as part of the Old and New Masters series, date back to the period 1978-1980 when Abercrombie made his first albums [Arcade; Abercrombie Quartet; M] as the leader of a regular group. This is their first appearance digitally (Arcade was briefly available on CD in Japan) and serve to reinforce the belief of many guitar buffs that Abercrombie can hold his head up high alongside Metheny and Schofield.

It's not swing and nor is it total fusion. There's enough here to please the contemporaries without alienating the more conservative guitar aficionados.  
Abercrombie is simply magnificent, Beirach, not far behind, Donald the ideal drummer and George Mraz! Great bass player. A lady, Muriel, well known around the north east jazz scene in the 1980s introduced me to him at the North Sea Jazz Festival - "Lance plays sax". Mraz had recorded with, among many others, Art Pepper! I prayed he didn't invite me to a jam session! He didn't!
Three discs, deep and intense. Not to be played in one go but, like coffee creams, to be savoured selectively rather than gorged.
Lance.
John Abercrombie - The First Quartet now available on ECM 4732437.

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