John Abercrombie Quartet - Up and Coming album review: Guitar great follows his instincts

Wed, Jan 25, 2017, 16:00


Up and Coming

John Abercrombie Quartet



“I’ve been doing this long enough that I just follow my muse, do what feels right.” So says John Abercrombie of the latest chapter in his long-standing dialogue with Manfred Eicher’s ECM label, which stretches back more than 40 years.

The range of the great guitarist’s playing over that time – from ferocious electrics to soft-spoke acoustics – is astonishing, but it has always been underpinned by the same self-effacing musical intelligence that can be heard in every note here.

Abercrombie has been playing with the members of this quartet (pianist Marc Copland, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Joey Barron) for much of that time, and Up and Coming is the sound of four musicians with nothing to prove getting out of the way of the music.