John Abercrombie – Timeless (1975/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 43:53 minutes | 1,49 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Source: ProStudioMasters | Booklet, Front Cover | © ECM Records
Recorded: June 11,12 1974 at Generation Sound Studios, New York
On Timeless, guitarist John Abercrombie spearheads a session with keyboardist Jan Hammer and drummer Jack DeJohnette for a melding of minds in the first degree.
The trio kicks things off in high gear with “Lungs,” a heaping pile of kindling set ablaze by Hammer’s high-octane staccato, DeJohnette’s explosive hi-hat, and Abercrombie’s unusually frenetic fretwork. A sublime energy is maintained throughout and the payoff is supremely satisfying—all the more so for its brevity, as the music suddenly changes avenues just a few minutes in. Hammer relays between organ and synth, keeping the pace (and the funk) through trailing guitar solos that send notes like cosmic fingers flicking galaxies into outer space. The organ smolders quietly in the background before clinching a new groove, which Abercrombie laces with lines flanged just right for the mix. It all ends in a game of musical jump rope, with Abercrombie skipping over the alternation of drums and organ. “Love Song” is true to its name and is the first of two exquisite conversations between piano and acoustic guitar. Just as the organ trailed long rows in the soil of our attention, the piano comes as a welcome rain for our crop and the guitar like the sun that infuses it. This brings us to “Ralph’s Piano Waltz,” a highlight of these six fine offerings. Like the album as a whole, this track is a superlative balancing act. It’s a construct so seamless that if you don’t find your foot tapping during this one, you might want to make sure it’s still attached. The electric leads speak in their respective languages, but also mimic each other along the way. “Red And Orange” is what might result if Bach had survived into the 1970s as a closeted jazz musician, and is another standout in a set of many. “Remembering” is an alluring chain of tableux and the second of the two duets. Abercrombie sustains details the piano seems content to ignore, loosening those threads from their weave. We end with the title track, which builds slowly from a synth drone peppered with guitar musings to a full-on embrace of space.
This evergreen stands tall in the ECM forest. There is no sense of competition, only mutual reveling in a distinctly nuclear sound. One could easily call it fusion, but if anything it is fused with itself, for it has created every element it seeks to combine. Timeless indeed.
Guitarist John Abercrombie’s first in a long line of recordings for ECM was also his debut as a leader. Teamed up with Jan Hammer (who here plays organ, synthesizer, and piano) and drummer Jack DeJohnette, Abercrombie plays four of his originals, plus two by Hammer. These performances differ from many of the guitarist’s later ECM dates in that Hammer injects a strong dose of fusion into the music, and there is plenty of spirited interplay between those two with fine support by DeJohnette. Thought-provoking and occasionally exciting music that generally defies categorization. –AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow
1. Lungs 12:18
2. Love Song 04:37
3. Ralph’s Piano Waltz 04:57
4. Red and Orange 05:24
5. Remembering 04:33
6. Timeless 12:02
John Abercrombie, guitar
Jan Hammer, organ, synthesizer, piano
Jack DeJohnette, drums