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John Abercrombie - John Abercrombie Quartet: Arcade CD (album) cover


John Abercrombie


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.53 | 21 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Sublime. Ethereal. Poignant. Heartfelt. Spacey. Arcade is an unheralded triumph. It possesses a healing, soothing, and almost spiritual quality.

This is not really jazz/rock or fusion, but rather a type of progressive jazz that only the ECM label seems able to do in this way and on this level. The title song, and opener, sets the pace from the start. Abercrombie's guitar rings out in single notes with simplicity and emotion. There are possible comparisons with his style and say that of Pat Metheny or even Carlos Santana (during the Welcome era), but Abercrombie plies his own much deeper and riskier waters.

Ritchie Bierach's piano is a perfect compliment to Abercrombie's atmospheric excursions, yet all the musicians completely mesh with his sound to allow John to drift endlessly above the fray. Do not expect to find standard bass lines or timekeeper style percussion here, instead you will find only gentle chattiness and delicately responsive jazziness.

Regardless of the fact that electric instruments are at work here, there is an acoustic feel to Arcade. There are no compromises, and though the music is totally non-traditional it is very straight up. No special effects or noisy clutter are in evidence here, just raw feeling and generous teamwork between the players, as they provide a canvas for John to paint on. Peter Donald's work on the drum kit is truly inspiring, and George Mraz's bass follows Abercrombie without mimicking him.

It is a very personal record to me, and it holds a permanent place in my heart and head. It is never boring and will grow on you with repeated listening.

vingaton | 5/5 |


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