John Abercrombie: To Be


To Be


John Abercrombie (guitar)


November (ECM 1502 78118 21502-2)

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John Abercrombie (guitar),

John Surman (soprano & baritone saxes, bass clarinet), Marc Johnson (bass) Peter Erskine (drums)


Composed by John Abercrombie


Recorded: Oslo, Norway November 1992


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

John Abercrombie always finds a way to draw you in with his ethereal guitar work. The trademark ever-so- slight echo of this era's ECM recordings is equally effective. In this particularly moving ballad, the timbre of John Surman's beautiful baritone sax on his opening statement pulls the listener in with its gut-wrenching emotional appeal. These phenomenally in-tune musicians demonstrate a remarkable ability to create a mood that somehow transports the listener to a place of peaceful solitude and reflection. Climbing a wall of notes that are perfectly placed and sparingly used, Abercrombie's penchant for haunting melodies is once again on display. The title "To Be" is a statement of gratitude for life and all of its wonderful mysteries, and the music evokes those precise emotions with all the power that music can provide. The song is at once uplifting, promising and a celebration of what it is to be.

Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello

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