Our February Jazz Recording of the Month is from guitarist John Abercrombie, a quartet date titled "Up and Coming" issued by ECM and Universal Music Canada.
The celebrated American guitarist is once again working with pianist Marc Copland, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Joey Baron. This same quartet recorded the critically acclaimed ECM album "39 Steps" which came out in 2013. Certainly Abercrombie is no stranger to ECM having recorded several albums for the German label over four decades.
As is his style these days the compositions are quietly played, but intense in approach with a subtle shifting of position among the quartet members. All the selections are composed by Abercrombie, except for one by Copland and a cover of Miles Davis' "Nadis". This is much the same formula used on "39 Steps" where the only cover was the old standard "Melancholy Baby". If you are a fan of the ECM sound you will love this recording. If you are looking for fiery playing, you may want to look elsewhere. This is best engaged by those with time to listen deeply.