Remembering John Abercrombie

“Days of Wine and Roses”

Dec. 16, 1944 – Aug. 22, 2017

John Abercrombie, who passed away on Aug. 22, 2017 at the age of 72 from heart disease, was a very inventive and highly individual guitarist throughout his long career.

Born Dec. 16, 1944 in Port Chester, New York, Abercrombie grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut.

He started playing guitar when he was 14, picked up early experience playing in local rock bands, and switched permanently to jazz by the time he attended Berklee (1962-65).

Abercrombie played soul jazz with organist Johnny Hammond Smith’s trio (1967-69), was a member of Chico Hamilton’s band (1970-72), and gained a lot of attention performing with Billy Cobham’s fusion group.

Always a versatile player, Abercrombie became a regular on the ECM label, recording classic trio sets (including Timeless and Gateway), leading many sessions, and working with such notables as Charles Lloyd, Richie Beirach, Michael Brecker and Joe Lovano.

No matter what the setting, John Abercrombie (who was a pioneer at using electronic effects on his guitar) had his own original and personal sound

Here is John and Emily Remler playing together at an alumni event at their alma mater Berklee.