John Abercrombie: Lungs




John Abercrombie (guitar)


Timeless (ECM 1047 829 114-2)

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John Abercrombie (guitar), Jan Hammer (keyboards), Jack DeJohnette (drums).

Composed by Jan Hammer


Recorded: New York, June 1974


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

In the late 1960s, Abercrombie and his friend, fellow New York City resident Jan Hammer, were jamming companions. They even worked through early Mahavishnu tunes when Jan was first learning the new music. Abercrombie is probably given less credit than he deserves. His guitar-playing skills have always been acknowledged, but he was in the thick of things when the fusion movement thrust itself onto the scene, and has remained an important musician since.

Hammer's "Lungs" takes its first breath as a hyped-up B-3 organ trio. Momentarily winded, it is quickly resuscitated by Hammer's Moog. Abercrombie and Hammer then trade licks at breakneck speed. Hammer effortlessly switches between the B-3 and his synthesizer. Abercrombie's tone is dirty and distorted in this section, but his articulation is as clean as a whistle. The ambient midsection, interrupted by DeJohnette's drum exhortations, cools things down before a slow blues funk ensues. Abercrombie focuses on angular blues and rock riffs while Hammer does some bassline throbbing with the Moog. The tune ends as "Lungs" finally runs out of breath.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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  • 1 Craig // Apr 06, 2008 at 03:55 AM
    what took you so long to find this?
  • 2 Walter Kolosky // Apr 06, 2008 at 02:20 PM
    Hi Craig, Thank you for taking the time to comment. Not so sure what you mean. Already found it years ago;-) But, if you are asking why a review of the cut appears some 30 years after its release; it is because here at we are in the process of creating the most complete jazz review archive on the Internet. Therefore, we are going back in time...