At 72 years old, John Abercrombie physical status not available right now. We will update John Abercrombie's height, weight, eye color, hair color, build, and measurements.
John Abercrombie was born on December 16, 1944, in Port Chester, New York. Growing up in the 1950s in Greenwich, Connecticut he was attracted to the rock and roll of Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, and Bill Haley and the Comets. He also liked the sound of jazz guitarist Mickey Baker of the vocal duo Mickey and Silvia. He had two friends who were musicians with a large jazz collection. They played him albums by Dave Brubeck and Miles Davis. The first jazz guitar album he heard was by Barney Kessel.
He took guitar lessons at the age of ten, asking his teacher to show him what Barney Kessel was playing. After high school, he attended Berklee College of Music. At Berklee, he was drawn to the music of Jim Hall, the 1962 album The Bridge by Sonny Rollins, and Wes Montgomery on his albums The Wes Montgomery Trio (1959) and Boss Guitar (1963). He cites George Benson and Pat Martino as inspirations. He often played with other students at Paul's Mall, a jazz club in Boston connected to a larger club, Jazz Workshop. Appearing at Paul's Mall led to meetings with Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, and organist Johnny Hammond Smith, who invited him to go on tour.
Abercrombie graduated from Berklee in 1967 and attended North Texas State University before moving to New York City in 1969. He became a popular session musician, recording with Gato Barbieri in 1971, Barry Miles in 1972, and Gil Evans in 1974. In 1969 he joined the Brecker Brothers in the jazz-rock fusion band Dreams. He continued to play fusion in Billy Cobham's band, but found that he disliked its focus on rock over jazz. Nonetheless his reputation grew with the popularity of both Cobham and Dreams. The band shared billing with such acts as the Doobie Brothers, but Abercrombie found his career taking an unwanted direction. "One night we appeared at the Spectrum in Philadelphia and I thought, 'What am I doing here?' It just didn't compute."
An invitation from drummer Jack DeJohnette led to the fulfillment of Abercrombie's desire to play in a jazz-oriented ensemble. Around the same time, record producer Manfred Eicher, founder and president of ECM Records, invited him to record an album. He recorded his first solo album, Timeless, with DeJohnette and keyboardist Jan Hammer, who had been his roommate in the 1960s. In 1975 he formed the band Gateway with DeJohnette and bassist Dave Holland, recording the albums Gateway (1976) and Gateway 2 (1978). Though Abercrombie would record for other labels going forward, ECM became his mainstay, and his association with that label continued for the rest of his career.
The Gateway band played songs written by all three members, in a free jazz style. Following his albums as a member of the Gateway trio, Abercrombie moved to playing in a more traditional style, recording for ECM three albums, Arcade (1979), Abercrombie Quartet (1979), and M (1981) with a quartet that included pianist Richie Beirach, bassist George Mraz, and drummer Peter Donald. Abercrombie said, "it was extremely important to have that group ... it was my first opportunity to really be a leader and write consistently for the same group of musicians." During the mid-1970s and into the 1980s, he contributed to ensembles led by DeJohnette and participated in other sessions for ECM, occasionally doubling on electric mandolin. He toured with guitarist Ralph Towner with whom he recorded two albums, Sargasso Sea (1976) and Five Years Later (1981). During the mid-1980s, he continued to play standards with bassist George Mraz, and he played in a bop duo with guitarist John Scofield. He also appeared on a number of ECM releases in various ensembles with other artists on the label.
Between 1984 and 1990, Abercrombie experimented with a guitar synthesizer. He first used the instrument, though not exclusively, in 1984 in a trio with Marc Johnson on bass and Peter Erskine on drums, as well as with pianist Paul Bley in a free jazz group. The synthesizer allowed him to play what he called "louder, more open music." Abercrombie's trio with Johnson and Erskine released three albums during this time showcasing the guitar-synth: Current Events (1986), Getting There (1988, with Michael Brecker), and a live album, John Abercrombie / Marc Johnson / Peter Erskine (1989).
The 1990s and 2000s marked a time of many new associations. In 1992, Abercrombie, drummer Adam Nussbaum, and Hammond organist Jeff Palmer made a free-jazz album. He then started a trio with Nussbaum and organist Dan Wall and released While We're Young (1992), Speak of the Devil (1994), and Tactics (1997). He added trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, violinist Mark Feldman and saxophonist Joe Lovano to the trio to record Open Land (1999). The Gateway band reunited for the albums Homecoming (1995) and In the Moment (1996).
Abercrombie continued to tour and record to the end of his life. He also continued to release albums on the ECM label, an association which lasted for more than 40 years. As he said in an interview, "I'd like people to perceive me as having a direct connection to the history of jazz guitar, while expanding some musical boundaries."
In 2017, Abercrombie died of heart failure in Cortlandt Manor, New York, at the age of 72.