Album Review

Abercrombie, John – “Class Trip ” – [Ecm Bmg Records]

Max Level   2/4/2006   CD, Jazz

Veteran jazz guitarist Abercrombie leads this quartet date, with fine collaborators Mark Feldman (violin), Marc Johnson (upright bass) and Joey Baron (drums) along for the ride. Excellent playing throughout. The guitar often has a mellow tone -which is nice because it doesn’t overpower Feldman’s unplugged violin- but it’s also a treat to hear Abercrombie break loose every once in a while, in the more aggressive style of his earlier releases. Baron’s drumming is remarkably subtle here, and he also launches a few bombs from time to time (tracks 3 and 7 for example) to make sure everyone is awake. At times, this CD is a tad too non-threatening for my taste, but these pros sound like they’re enjoying themselves and there are enough pleasant surprises here to keep me interested.

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