Wednesday, January 27, 2016

John Abercrombie, Richie Beirach, George Mraz, Peter Donald - The First Quartet (2015)

This 3-CD set with recordings from 1978 to 1980, issued in ECM’s acclaimed Old & New Masters series, returns some historically-important material to the catalogue, namely the albums Arcade, Abercrombie Quartet and M. The quartet with Richie Beirach, George Mraz and Peter Donald – John Abercrombie’s first touring band as a leader – was the group in which the guitarist defined some priorities, moving away from a jazz-rock period into a more spacious, impressionistic and original music. Abercrombie and pianist Beirach had a strong musical rapport as improvisers and wrote almost all of the band’s book between them. George Mraz and Peter Donald provided imaginative support. For this edition the recordings - made in Oslo and Ludwigsburg and produced by Manfred Eicher – were remastered from original analog sources.

John Abercrombie, Guitar, Mandolin Guitar
Richie Beirach, Piano
George Mraz, Double Bass
Peter Donald, Drums

CD 1

1. ARCADE (John Abercrombie) 09:43
2. NIGHTLAKE (Richie Beirach) 05:35
3. PARAMOUR (John Abercrombie) 05:09
4. NEPTUNE (Richie Beirach) 07:34
5. ALCHEMY (Richie Beirach) 11:34

CD 2

1. BLUE WOLF (John Abercrombie) 08:33
2. DEAR RAIN (John Abercrombie) 06:54
3. STRAY (Richie Beirach) 06:36
4. MADAGASCAR (Richie Beirach) 09:05
5. RIDDLES (Richie Beirach) 08:12
6. FOOLISH DOG (John Abercrombie) 06:18

CD 3

1. BOAT SONG (John Abercrombie) 09:57
2. M (John Abercrombie) 06:19
3. WHAT ARE THE RULES (Richie Beirach) 07:33
4. FLASHBACK (Richie Beirach) 06:17
5. TO BE (John Abercrombie) 05:17
6. VEILS (Richie Beirach) 05:44
7. PEBBLES (George Mraz) 04:45