Wednesday, April 18, 2018

John Abercrombie & Ralph Towner - 1982 - Five Years Later

John Abercrombie & Ralph Towner 
Five Years Later

01. Late Night Passenger 9:54
02. Isla 6:24
03. Half Past Two 4:26
04. Microtheme 3:39
05. Caminata 3:01
06. The Juggler's Etude 7:29
07. Bumabia 9:50
08. Child's Play 4:51

Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Twelve-String Guitar, Mandoguitar – John Abercrombie
Twelve-String Guitar, Classical Guitar – Ralph Towner

Recorded March 1981 at Talent Studio, Oslo

John Abercrombie is unique among guitarists in that whenever he becomes enraptured his sound becomes neither louder nor more pronounced but becomes somehow mysterious, liberated. Ralph Towner, on the other hand, revels in the crackling ruptures that so characterize his playing. Yet these roles seem reversed in this follow-up to the duo’s Sargasso Sea. A far more fragile carnation than its predecessor, it seems to forego the usual bag of tricks in favor of something more, as the album’s title would imply, reflective. This is especially apparent in the three improvisations with which the set list is dotted, and nowhere more so than in “Late Night Passenger,” where Abercrombie’s laddered filaments provide stunning berth for the other’s muted, jangling starlight.

As for composed pieces, Towner offers three, Abercrombie two. Among the former’s, the all-acoustic “Half Past Two” is a vibrating rib cage of biographical energies, and the most comely track on the album. The attraction continues with “Caminata” and on through the whimsy of “The Juggler’s Etude.” Abercrombie’s “Child’s Play” pairs electric and classical for a complementary sound, Towner’s shallower accents the caps on Abercrombie’s resonant stalks. Child’s play it may be in name, but in execution it is anything but. Yet it is in “Isla” that the reverie reaches new depths, the musicians’ negotiation of lead and backing effortlessly egalitarian. Such reciprocity is the keystone that keeps this arch from crumbling.



  2. Dear Zen Archer,
    Thank you very much for all beautiful posts, here's one more for your collection, in case you don't have it.

    David Earle Johnson, Jan Hammer And John Abercrombie ‎– The Midweek Blues (1983) b/r 160

    Sorry for low b/r, couldn't find any better.
    Best regards,

    1. I did not have that one, and it was on my want list! Thank you very VERY much!