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

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Zao - Akhenaton – After a decade and a half, the zeuhl-fusion ensemble Zao are back with a release that is a real treat. While the lineup has changed from the classic formation which included Didier Lockwood on violin...  (1995) » Read more

As Lonely as Dave Bowman - Pod – The genesis of this floating ambient side-project by Sam Rosenthal, founder of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, is an interesting one. It began with Rosenthal’s four year old son playing with a camera...  (2008) » Read more

Umphrey's McGee - Wrapped around Chicago – Umphrey’s McGee occupies one of those favorable music niches somewhere between late era Phish and the Dave Mathews Band. The jam band moniker has been a complete benefit for the six-piece act as the...  (2006) » Read more

Steve Roach - Artifacts – The ever prolific Steve Roach has released his newest Fortuna release Artifacts, another 70 minutes of his patented electronic music. Although Exposé only barely touches the electronic scene, we feel...  (1995) » Read more

Brian Auger's Oblivion Express - Happiness Heartaches – The latter incarnation of Oblivion Express (led by Hammond B3 player extraordinaire Brian Auger) was characterized by soulful blues-rock, percussion, and danceable grooves. Ex-Return to Forever...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues