Sophisticated and thoughtful jazz guitarist John Abercrombie reconvenes a familiar format for this album, performing with Mark Feldman on violin, Thomas Morgan on bass and Joey Baron on drums. The group takes something of a chamber jazz approach, touching on lullabies and folk music at times, but remaining pretty mellow throughout. "Sad Song" sets the tone for the album with a melancholy and slow paced performance anchored by Baron's subtle brushes. "Line Up" is a little faster with slashing violin and open sounding guitar in consort. A nice interlude of guitar and bass in the centerpiece. Brighter and stronger guitar is also up front on "Trio" with stronger drumming providing the spark for the group's improvisation. The pace slows back down for "I've Overlooked Before" and "Anniversary Waltz" with the former featuring quasi classical violin and the latter having some gently swaying violin and mellow and dexterous guitar. "Out of Towner" was one of the highlights of the album, setting a faster pace and featuring swirling violin and full bodied pulsating bass. Feldman lays out for a very attractive guitar trio interlude before returning to help take things out. Subtlety is really the key to this album, the musicians are improvising at a very intricate level, where finesse is most important. This is thoughtful and sophisticated music, and what it may lose in excitement, it makes up for in craft and patience.
Wait Till You See Her - amazon.com
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Unnatural Ways - We Aliens (Tzadik, 2016) ****
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