Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

John Abercrombie - Selected Recordings :rarum XIV (2004)


ECM :rarum MONTH* (MARCH 2017)

Like many ECM artists, I recognize names of people as sidemen on other artists' albums. I've heard plenty of John Abercrombie's guitar skills but never on his own releases (until I got this nice sampler). I've seen the following adjectives used to describe Abercrombie's playing and tone: dulcet, spare, delicate, understated, and (my personal favorite) multivalent. However you describe it, I enjoy it.

Liner notes include a brief essay from Abercrombie describing how he selected the songs from 30 years worth of ECM recordings and why he chose to present them in (mostly) chronological order, although he doesn't explain why he didn't choose any of his output from the eighties (I guess he didn't like his recordings using the guitar synth).


Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Did not chart

Tracks: 10 tracks, 79 minutes.


TitleAlbum
Year

Timeless
Timeless
1975
Sorecery I
Gateway
1976
Avenue
Sargasso Sea
1976
Memoir
Characters
1978
Stray
Abercrombie Quartet
1979
Big Music
November
1993
Ma Belle Hélène
The Widow in the Window
1990
Carol's Carol
While We're Young
1992

Homecoming
Homecoming
1995
Convolution
Cat 'n' Mouse
2002


Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None


*Back in June 2015, this beautiful thing showed up at my doorstep:


It's a 12 CD box set (2008) of compilation discs from ECM's :rarum series, a birthday gift from a good friend.  In this series, the artists were given the freedom to pick their personal favorite recordings from any ECM release they've made as a leader or sideman. In other words, the label got outta the way and good for them.  I'll be making my way through the set this month.

ECM (Edition of Contemporary Music), originally a German label, was founded in 1969. "Rarum" comes from the Latin root "rarus" meaning "rare" (perhaps foreshadowing that these CDs wouldn't be in print for very long).

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