John Abercrombie

Open Land

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Here, Abercrombie grafts three soloists -- trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, tenor saxman Joe Lovano, and violinist Mark Feldman -- onto his organ trio and comes out with an absorbing set of elegantly textured, poly-styled music laced with his drifting, occasionally jagged yet never overbearing guitar. On the title track and, not unexpectedly, on "Free Piece Suit(e)," the sextet veers onto the outside, but they always do so in a relaxed ECM manner, without jangling any nerves. "Little Booker," a reversal of the names of the short-lived trumpeter, is the nicest track, outfitted with a memorable tune, and "That's for Sure" has an off-kilter, loose-jamming country feeling. Both Lovano and Wheeler play sparely and tastefully, and Feldman occasionally emits a gust of shock fiddling but mostly stays within lyrical bounds. Adam Nussbaum's drumming is loose, unpredictable, and adaptable; Dan Wall's organ discreetly lays in the background or steps forth in the usual Jimmy Smith-derived idiom.

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