“Within A Song” celebrates the spirit of discovery that illuminated the jazz of the 1960s, as John Abercrombie declares his musical loyalties in a quartet album that pays tribute to a range of early influences including Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins and Jim Hall. “This was the music that spoke to me. When I heard it, it was like finding a new home.” The group assembled especially for this production, recorded at New York’s Avatar Studios in September 2011 features tenorist Joe Lovano as the optimal partner for Abercrombie. Together they mine deep feelings from these modern jazz classics.
This new album, revisiting some classics of the era, is effectively a modern jazz primer, but it’s also much more.
“Manfred Eicher and I had been talking for a while about doing an album that might pay homage to a particular jazz artist or composer. But in the end I preferred to look at the era when my own musical tastes were shaped. The recordings that I was listening to back then were mostly post-bebop jazz albums, usually by artists who were stretching the forms, in their various ways.”
Guitarist Abercrombie and tenorist Joe Lovano convey their empathy with the original protagonists, while also bringing much of their own creativity into service. There is superlative playing from both of them, with encouragement and alert support from Joey Baron and Drew Gress, also vital contributors to the project.