John Abercrombie: Follow Your Heart


Follow Your Heart


John Abercrombie (guitar)


Visions of an Inner Mounting Apocalypse (Tone Center TC 40401)

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John Abercrombie (guitar),

Mitchel Forman (keyboards), Jeff Richman (guitar), Kai Eckhardt (bass), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums)


Composed by John McLaughlin


Recorded: Granada Hills, CA, 2005


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

Back in the early '70s, jazz guitarist John Abercrombie was in the forefront of the fusion music movement. Coincidently he was one of the first to hear the music of what would eventually become the Mahavishnu Orchestra. The new band's newest member, Jan Hammer, asked Abercrombie to help him learn it. Abercrombie released his own landmark fusion album, Timeless, in 1975. Performed in trio with Hammer and drummer Jack DeJohnette, it has stood the test of time and is often cited as one of the more important records of the time.

Abercrombie's take on John McLaughlin's "Follow Your Heart" is placed at the very end of the Mahavishnu tribute album Visions of an Inner Mounting Apocalypse. The tune was never recorded by the Mahavishnu Orchestra, but does appear on My Goal's Beyond, which was released under the Mahavishnu John McLaughlin moniker.

Abercrombie's interpretation is exceptionally good. The arrangement from album producer Jeff Richman allows for interesting variations from the original. Abercrombie handles the catchy intro and its unusual time signature with understated charm. Bassist Eckhardt offers a wonderfully melodic solo. Then Abercrombie gets down to business. His blues-tinged solo is all over the place, yet still in the pocket. The tension builds as the intensity of his playing increases. He rocks it out. Colaiuta's drums particularly stand out. Richman chose an interesting way to end the piece and Abercrombie, following his heart, agreed with him.

Abercrombie's masterful performance of this John McLaughlin composition officially puts "Follow Your Heart" into the jazz standard realm as far as this critic is concerned. He joins fellow guitarist Bill Frisell as a modern interpreter of this beautiful composition.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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