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Guitarist John Abercrombie brought his New York Quartet to Anthology for a rare San Diego appearance. Abercrombie shared the spotlight with violinist Mark Feldman, bassist Thomas Morgan, and downtown favorite, drummer Joey Baron.

The concert began with an improvisation that Abercrombie characterized as an "excuse to warm up." The second half of this piece opened up a little, hinting at swing, while Abercrombie inserted chromatic and blues elements into his solo. Next up was Feldman and his beautiful, classical sounding tone on violin.

Their second number started out with double bass and slight funk evocations. Abercrombie's improv during this piece quoted "Salt Peanuts." Thomas Morgan was critically undermixed most of the evening — he could be seen but not heard. They explored a bossa-nova groove on "Wishing Bell” and performed as a trio on jazz standard “Days of Wine and Roses."

The highlight was a loose take on the Ornette Coleman gem "Round Trip." This featured wide shifts in dynamics and Abercrombie performing a cappella — unfortunately, not loud enough to drown out the obnoxious foursome in the booth behind this listener. The quartet ended the evening with Abercrombie original "Class Trip."

  • Concert: John Abercrombie Quartet
  • Date: October 8
  • Venue: Anthology
  • Seats: Dining area, along the rail
  • Photo by Anthony Cecena
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