No. 2 in Chesky’s New York Sessions series featuring some of the great jazz musicians of today, was recorded in the very natural reverberant acoustics of an Episcopal Church in NYC, using their familiar minimalist recording techniques, and all seven discs in the series are being released as a hybrid SACDs. Abercrombie is known for his many ECM recordings, his quartet with pianist Richie Beirach – which made three recordings – and his collaborations with fellow guitarist Ralph Towner. He was last heard on the Chesky label on the exiting Three Guitars SACD with Larry Coryell and Badi Assad. In an interview in Jazziz mag, Abercrombie said “I’d like people to perceive me as having a direct connection to the history of jazz guitar, while expanding some musical boundaries which may not always involve the guitar itself.”
That sums up his playing on this relaxed, laid-back session with Abercrombie on the left, Gomez on the right, and Jackson’s drum kit behind them in the center. The guitar sound is refreshingly free of the string noises one often hears on too-closely-miked guitar recordings. The opening original, Jazz Folk, is the lengthiest track of the ten, and does have a folk flavor to it which reminded me of some of Jimmy Guiffre’s compositions. Bassist Gomez contributed Walter Pigeon, named not directly after the movie star but after a pet bird. A waltz time swing is heard in Abercrombie’s 3 For Three. Bill Evan’s Trio alum Gomez recalls that time playing Bill’s Turn Out the Stars, and follows it with some lovely bowed bass work on his original tune Missing You.
Tracks: Jazz Folk, The Touch of Your Lips, Moon and Sand, Walter Pigeon, Everything I Love, Embraceable You, 3 For Three, Turn Out the Stars, Missing You, How Deep Is the Ocean.
— John Henry