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The Third Quartet CD

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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 Dec. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: ECM
  • ASIN: B000ND91TU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,789 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Product description

Product Description

John Abercrombie's remarkable group floats perpetually between jazz and chamber music. Its elegant agile improvisation is constantly in movement. The level of interaction is the group's most outstanding attribute. Abercrombie, violinist Mark Feldman and bassist Marc Johnson often function as a string trio - but when Johnson locks in with Joey Baron's propulsive drums the group swings relentlessly.

Abercrombie's eight compositions here envelop two important compositions of new jazz that also reveal something about the quartets range and intentions: Bill Evans's pretty "Epilogue" (first heard in 1958 on Everybody Digs Bill Evans) and Ornette Coleman's galloping "Round Trip" (from New York Is Now, 1968). The quartet's scope runs from lyrical reflection à la Evans to post-Ornette free play. The CD also includes a soulful tribute to the late great Elvin Jones, one of the defining architects of jazz rhythm.

Of John Abercrombie, the Guardian recently wrote, "He has recorded for German label ECM since 1974. As complete a player as more famous contemporaries Scofield, Metheny and Frisell, he has a capacity for spontaneous melody-spinning that rivals all of them." This can be perceived both on his own ECM discs and those of Charles Lloyd, Jan Garbarek, Kenny Wheeler, Jack DeJohnette, and others...

Mark Feldman came to Abercrombie's group for 'Open Land' in 1998 and has played on all the guitarist's ECM discs since then. Other ECM appearances include his recent leader debut, 'What Exit', and Abaton with Sylvie Courvoisier. Bassist Marc Johnson joined the Bill Evans Trio at only 24, and played with the great pianist until he died in 1980. For a decade, he worked regularly with Abercrombie in the trio with drummer Peter Erskine. Joey Baron's ECM work includes albums with Bill Frisell, Steve Kuhn, and John Taylor as well as with Abercrombie.

Personnel: John Abercrombie - (electric and acoustic guitars), Mark Feldman - (violin), Marc Johnson - (double-bass), Joey Baron - (drums)

BBC Review

There's something very special about this latest disc from John Abercrombie's quartet, but the whole thing's so understated that it's hard to put your finger on quite what it is. Certainly when listening through the album, with all its delicacy and fragility, it's hard to believe - and a testament to Abercrombie's driven band-leadership - that half of the group have had regular gigs with that convener of musical chaos, John Zorn.

It's the third album from the group Abercombie has been leading since 2000, and seems to mark a retreat from earlier excursions into freer territory; many tracks open with atmospheric introductions that seem unscripted, but which soon settle into more traditional jazz cycles. Of highlights there are many: the modal extemporizations of the opening ''Banshee'' which skid over bassist Marc Johnson's pedal note, setting the scene for the kind of quiet intensity that characterises the album, or the exquisite interplay between Abercrombie and violist Feldman on their stand-out arrangement of Bill Evans' little-known ''Epilogue''. Joey Baron rises to the formidable challenge of paying tribute to Elvin Jones, with echoes of the great drummer's stream-of-consciousness style and acute sensitivity on ''Elvin'', like all the originals on the disc, an Abercombie original.

It's nice to hear a group quietly forging new ground like this - that is to say, not by smashing away at the limits of modern jazz, but rather by gently coaxing them slowly outwards. More to the point, it's nice to hear such subtle and intimate music-making as on this record. --Matt Trustram

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on 27 July 2007
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