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John Abercrombie 1944-2017

Det er med stor tristhet vi har fått melding om at gitargiganten John Abercrombie døde i går kveld, tirsdag 22. august 2017.

Følgende melding fra hans familie ble publisert på hans Facebook-side ved midnatt i dag:

«It is with profound sadness that his family confirms that the legendary jazz guitarist John Abercrombie passed away earlier this evening, August 22nd in Cortland, New York. The family appreciates the outpouring of love and support and respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.»

Abercrombie har vært syk i lengre tid etter et hjerteattakk tidligere i år. Etter at den planlagte konserten i Oslo 17. mars 2017 ble avlyst etter sykdomsforfall, håpet vi å se ham i godt driv igjen 24. november i år da erstatningskonserten ble satt opp.

Slik skulle det dessverre ikke gå. John Abercrombie har spilt sin siste tone på denne siden av Gjallarbrua. Thanks for all the music, John!

John Abercrombie snakker om sin musikk i dette programmet på det amerikanske radionettverket NPR fra 2007:

Plateselskapet ECM har i dag sendt ut følgende pressemelding:

John Abercrombie (1944-2017)

John Abercrombie, one of the great improvisers, died on August 22, after a long illness. He will be much missed, for his sensitive musicality, his good companionship, and his dry humour which enhanced many a session. He leaves behind an extensive discography which will be studied as long as people continue to play jazz guitar.

John made his first recording for ECM, the appropriately-titled “Timeless”, in the summer of 1974, with his lifelong friend Jack DeJohnette on the drums, and Jan Hammer on organ. Over the next four decades, he was active as leader, co-leader and sideman on dozens of ECM projects. A creative writer of jazz tunes, John also loved to play freely as much as he loved to play standards.

Many of his albums combine all of these resources, unified by his fluid, silvery tone and improvisational eloquence. In conversation he would speak of his enduring fondness for Jim Hall and Wes Montgomery, primary influences, and also of the liberating examples of Ornette Coleman and Jimi Hendrix; Bill Evans’s sense of lyricism was also of crucial importance to him.
John Abercrombie led a number of very fine bands, and he was particularly proud of his last quartet with Marc Copland on piano, Drew Gress on double bass, and Joey Baron on drums. This quartet released two albums, “39 Steps” and “Up and Coming”, the latter released in January 2017.

Highlights in his recording career were many and include the Gateway trio albums with Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette, the duo albums with Ralph Towner, the Special Editions albums (with DeJohnette, Lester Bowie and Eddie Gomez), Jan Garbarek’s “Eventyr”, Charles Lloyd’s “The Water Is Wide”, Collin Walcott’s “Grazing Dreams” (where John and Don Cherry play together), Enrico Rava’s “The Pilgrim and the Stars”, Kenny Wheeler’s “Deer Wan” … the list goes on.