John Abercrombie (guitarist)

John Abercrombie ( born December 16, 1944 in Port Chester, New York) is an American guitarist. His game between modern jazz and fusion, on electric and acoustic guitar, both in small and in large ensembles is very versatile.

Life and work

John Abercrombie grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut, and began playing guitar at age 14. He studied from 1962 to 1966 at the Berklee College of Music ( Boston) with Jack Peterson guitar and harmony and jazz theory. His early role models include Jim Hall, Barney Kessel and Tal Farlow.

He began his career in 1967 as a guitarist in the band of Johnny Hammond Smith. In 1969 he played in the group Dreams with Michael and Randy Brecker. In the 1970s he was among other things with Chico Hamilton, Billy Cobham, Gil Evans (The Gil Evans Orchestra Plays the Music of Jimi Hendrix 1974) and Jeremy Steig on tour and has played on several albums by trumpeter Enrico Rava with. In 1974, he released his first album Timeless with Jan Hammer on keyboards and Jack DeJohnette on drums at the ECM label. In the latter he played in the late 1970s in the band New Directions.

Around 1980, Abercrombie worked with a quartet lineup with Richie Beirach, George Mraz and Peter Donald. In the 1980s, Abercrombie often collaborated with guitarist Ralph Towner. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he played in the quintet with trumpeter Kenny Wheeler. He was also involved in the uptake of large orchestral suite Epitaph by Charles Mingus under Gunther Schuller.

His own trios are considered to be legendary with Marc Johnson and Peter Erskine on the one hand and as a gateway with Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette on the other; also the trio with organist Dan Wall and Adam Nussbaum on drums attracted considerable attention. In the band he played with baseline Hein van de Geyn and Joe LaBarbera. To his current quartet (2007) include Mark Feldman, Marc Johnson and Joey Baron.

Discography (selection)