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John Abercrombie - Open Land CD (album) cover

OPEN LAND

John Abercrombie

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.09 | 4 ratings

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fuxi
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Once again, jazz-rock/fusion seems a misnomer. This CD is far removed from the pyrotechnics usually associated with the genre. John Abercrombie's guitar playing sounds delicate throughout, and the mood of the album often reminds me of the first few minutes of Yes's To Be Over. Generally speaking, the playing is freer and less melody-bound than with Yes, but you do get the impression Abercrombie must have listened to a lot of East Asian music.

Instrumentation on OPEN LAND is highly original and will come as a surprise to those who have never heard Abercrombie's 1990s organ trio. Lead guitar (often semi-acoustic), violin, trumpet (played by the incomparable Kenny Wheeler) and Hammond organ take turns executing solos which are usually subdued and understated; they also play some of Abercrombie's lovely tunes in unison. Sax player Joe Lovano guests on a couple of tracks but, much to my relief, even he keeps it gentle: he sounds more like John Surman than like anyone else.

OPEN LAND may not be one of John Abercrombie's most sensational masterpieces (it never reaches the intensity of CLASS TRIP or NOVEMBER) but it is a beautiful album, well-worth hearing. Like so much of Abercrombie's music, it grows upon the listener. Three and a half stars.

fuxi | 3/5 |

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