Image Credits: John Abercrombie © Tom Marcello
John Abercrombie passed away on August 22, 2017, aged 72; the American guitarist was born in Port Chester, Westchester County, NY, on December 16, 1944. He studied at Berklee College of music in Boston from 1962 to 1966, and he was one of the most requested sessionmen in the 70’s in New York; among the very famous recordings, we remind those with Gato Barbieri, Gil Evans, Dave Liebman and the Dreams, the jazz rock group featuring also Billy Cobham and Michael and Randy Brecker. In 1973 he started his cooperation with ECM label, with one of the lines-up he most performed with, the organ trio with Jack DeJohnette on drums and Jan Hammer on keyboards. He would have been tied to the German label for all his life, and among this most renowned works there are those by The Gate, with DeJohnette and Dave Holland on bass, and those with Ralph Towner, John Scofield, Kenny Wheeler, Joe Lovano, Joey Baron and many others, with more than 30 albums recorded.
His playing style was at the same time tied to tradition but under a continuous evolution and exploration of new modalities: his experiments were emblematic in this sense, with the use of several electronic effects, mixed with a particularly original phrasing style of his guitar. At the same time, Abercrombie was a very good songwriter, particularly original and well known for his predilection of 3/4 times, so that Andy Laverne dedicated to him the track “Waltz King”.