Up and Coming is the latest album from longtime ECM Records artist John Abercrombie, and second featuring his quartet that is comprised of himself on guitar, pianist Marc Copland, drummer Joey Baron, and double-bassist Drew Gress. This release follows their 2013 debut Extolling 39 Steps. Featuring eight compositions, five written by Abercrombie, two by Copland, and a reimagining of the Miles Davis classic "Nardis", Up and Coming is a thrilling collection of melodic jazz that touches on modern as well as vintage sounds.
"Sunday School" sees the legendary guitarist pouring out some tasty melodies alongside the gentle comps of Copland, while the pianist takes center stage on the lovely title track as the rhythms rumble underneath and Abercrombie delivers once again a restrained yet masterful performance. Gress' leathery bass lines permeate the lush "Tears", while the more adventurous "Silver Circle" and the energetic "Flipside" sees the quartet really cooking with some daring musical flights. Davis' "Nardis" is a joy, Copland's piano spiraling out majestic melodies over nimble drum work courtesy of the veteran Baron. Of course, it's the synergy between Abercrombie and Copland that ultimately drives Up and Coming, and the two work remarkably well together on the alluring closer "Jumbles", trading complex lines & melodies as if they were joined at the hip.
ECM Records is off to a great start to 2017 with Up and Coming, another remarkably satisfying release from the John Abercrombie Quartet.
03 Sunday School
04 Up And Coming
06 Silver Circle