Exposé Online banner

John Abercrombie RIP

Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world.

by Jon Davis, Published 2017-08-22

John AbercrombieJohn Abercrombie was born in 1944 in Port Chester, New York, and started playing guitar at the age of 14 and studied at Berklee in the 60s, forming connections with other musicians that would last decades. Some of his early playing was with the Brecker brothers Michael and Randy, and in 1969 helped form one of the earliest jazz-rock bands, Dreams, with the Breckers and Billy Cobham.

His debut as a leader came with Timeless in 1974 on ECM, featuring DeJohnette and Jan Hammer, the first of many releases on the label. Throughout his career, he has ranged from sensitive acoustic guitar, to electric and electronic instruments, and has involved traditional jazz and free improvisation.

He died on 22 August 2017 at the age of 72 of reported heart failure, leaving behind an impressive legacy of great recordings.


Filed under: Obituaries

Related artist(s): Jack DeJohnette, Billy Cobham, Jan Hammer, John Abercrombie, Randy Brecker

Latest news

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Murat Ses - Umami – Umami is Turkish musician Murat Ses’ seventh solo album. Umami is a Japanese word meaning savory, which this new release is, not too sweet, not too sour, tangy but just right. On his latest...  (2008) » Read more

Unitopia - More Than a Dream – More Than a Dream is probably the best of the recent Unicorn Digital releases, and that is saying a lot! Unitopia hails from Down Under and they independently released More Than a Dream in 2005, which...  (2008) » Read more

Andreas Akwara - Synthetic Horizon – When I first listened to this new effort from the German composer Akwara I immediately had to turn the treble far down, because the sharpness of the sound was just ear-splitting. Synthetic Horizon is...  (2006) » Read more

Taylor's Free Universe - Family Shot & Oyster's Apprentice – The very prolific guitarist Robin Taylor hits us with new offerings from two of his ensembles. Taylor’s Free Universe is Taylor’s improv outfit, featuring Pierre Tassone on processed...  (2006) » Read more

Rova - Bingo – For 20 years now, California's Rova Sax Quartet has been unrelentingly pursuing the ambitious task of inventing new music from the most traditional instrumental family in jazz history – the...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues