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

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Kit Watkins - The Gathering & Music for the End – Fans of Happy the Man, beware. These three live CDs are more in the realm of ambient space music than progressive rock. Taken together, they document the musical happenings on the night of March 10,...  (2002) » Read more

A Triggering Myth - Between Cages – A Triggering Myth continues to be Tim Drumheller and Rick Eddy. So says the liner notes of this, their third album. Hailing from Massachusetts, the duo also continues to make music much the same as...  (1996) » Read more

Tomas Bodin - I Am – For his fourth solo effort, Flower Kings keyboard player Tomas Bodin takes a more autobiographical approach, using theatrically conceptual albums like Pink Floyd’s The Wall and Pain of...  (2006) » Read more

Chris Savourey - Chris Savourey – Looks are deceiving. Sure, this leather clad biker dude on the cover, clutching a flashy black Ibanez and covered with tattoos might lead one to believe this is just some average screaming hard rock...  (1996) » Read more

Fred Frith - The Previous Evening – Fred Frith has always been a very highly respected innovator and collaborator in various new music endeavors, and lately his talents have been sought out more and more for an ever broadening array of...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues