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John Abercrombie - November CD (album) cover

NOVEMBER

John Abercrombie

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.93 | 6 ratings

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fuxi
Prog Reviewer
4 stars John Abercrombie is one of the greatest jazz guitarists, but he's a also very modest man, not given to recording hummable tunes or producing the sort of Grand Projects his slightly younger contemporary Pat Metheny is notorious for. He quietly goes his own way.

On this album you can hear Abercrombie playing very loosely, poetically, imaginatively and free, in a session with British sax player John Surman (who sounds especially wonderful on bass clarinet - very nocturnal) and one of the greatest rhythm sections in contemporary jazz: Marc Johnson's rumbling bass, and Peter Erskine's delicate drumming. Hell, I'd recommend this album for Erskine alone!

I first heard NOVEMBER late at night, one summer when I was travelling through Japan on my own and approaching the volcanic island of Sakurajima by ferry from Kagoshima city. The ferry was decorated to look just like one of those riverboats with a "big wheel that keeps on turning" that you could see on the Mississippi, back in the days of Huckleberry Finn. I wasn't sure what I would find on Sakurajima, I felt rather worried about staying there as I thought the volcano (still active!) could blow its top at any moment. In the dark, Abercrombie's powerfully expressive lead guitar sounded comforting and threatening by turns. For me NOVEMBER will always be intimately connected with this particular journey.

NOVEMBER must be one of John Abercrombie's most progressive albums, together with OPEN LAND. I can imagine it will appeal to people who enjoy the instrumental parts of SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS, MORE or UMMAGUMMA. It's got the same kind of churchy sombreness, but the playing is far more virtuosic.

fuxi | 4/5 |

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