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 Friday, 01 August 2014
SFJazz Opens Spring Season with Enrico Rava Tribe and the John Abercrombie Trio Friday, Feb 17 PDF Print
Written by Ronaldo Oregano   
Wednesday, 15 February 2012

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Enrico Rava and John Abercrombie

A European jazz patriarch universally esteemed by his New York peers, Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava has collaborated with some of the music’s most creative figures, from Steve Lacy and Roswell Rudd to Carla Bley and Lee Konitz. Deeply influenced by Miles Davis, he favors a spare, harmonically transparent sound informed by bebop, operatic arias, free jazz and beyond. Well known as an ECM recording artist, in recent years he’s released a series of albums with fellow trumpeter Paulo Fresu exploring the legacies of Miles, Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong, and Chet Baker. His latest project is Tribe, a European quintet showcasing some of the most inventive young improvisers on the continent. Among Tribe's impressive lineup is the young Gianluca Petrella, who has a substantial recording profile and won back-to-back Best Trombonist honors in the DownBeat Emerging Artist category, 2006 and 2007. Rising to prominence during the fusion revolution of the early ‘70s, guitar master John Abercrombie has contributed his spacious, liquid-toned musicality to the work of the Brecker Brothers and Jack DeJohnette, among many others. With a particular affinity for the trio setting, he has defined the open-ended experimentation of the ECM sound over a string of stunning albums, including the classic Timeless with keyboard iconoclast Jan Hammer. Abercrombie returns to SFJAZZ with his current trio that includes fiery Hammond B-3 star Gary Versace and drumming dynamo Adam Nussbaum, a band that extends the organ combo tradition into adventurous new harmonic territory.

 

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John Abercrombien © Andrea Canter
Born on December 16, 1944 in Port Chester, New York, Abercrombie grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut, where he began playing the guitar at age 14. Like many teenagers at the time, he started out imitating Chuck Berry licks. But it was the bluesy music of Barney Kessel that attracted him to jazz. Abercrombie enrolled at Boston's Berklee College of Music and teamed up with other students to play local clubs and bars.  Organist Johnny Hammond Smith spotted the young Abercrombie and invited him to go on tour while he was still a student. During the same period, Ambercrombie also met the Brecker Brothers, who invited him to become a new part of their group Dreams, which would become one the prominent jazz-rock bands of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Abercrombie appears on the group's eponymous debut album.

After graduating from Berklee, Abercrombie headed to New York, where he quickly became one of New York's most in-demand session players. He recorded with Gil Evans, Gato Barbieri, and Barry Miles, to name a few. He was also a regular with Chico Hamilton's group, where he first met Marc Copland.  In the early 1970s, Abercrombie rrecorded his first album as a leader, Timeless on ECM, backed by Jan Hammer and Jack DeJohnette. Abercrombie's second album, Gateway, was released in November 1975 with DeJohnette and bassist Dave Holland; a second Gateway recording was released in June 1978.

Throughout the 1990s and into 2000 and beyond, Abercrombie has continued to pluck from the ranks of jazz royalty--and be plucked for guest appearances on other artists' recordings. One propitious relationship was with guitarist, pianist, and composer Ralph Towner, with whom Abercrombie has worked in a duet setting. (Abercrombie has also worked in guitar duos with John Scofield, for 1993's Solar and with Joe Beck in Coincidence, released in 2007). Abercrombie has also recorded with saxophonist Jan Garbarek and bassist Eddie Gomez. Abercrombie keeps up a heavy touring schedule and continues to record with ECM, a relationship that has spanned more than 30 years.

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Enrico Rava © Giuseppe Pino
Enrico Rava, born in Trieste in 1939, is undoubtedly the most internationally acknowledged Italian jazzman. In forty years of his career as trumpet player, and composer, he has produced more than hundred recordings, thirty of which as a leader. Being a great admirer of Miles Davis and Chet Baker, his career started at an early age, when he played in clubs in Turin. In 1962, he met Gato Barbieri with whom, two years later, he recorded the soundtrack for Montaldo's film "Una bella grinta". In those years he met Don Cherry, Mal Waldron and Steve Lacy, with whom he played free jazz in a quartet alternating between London and Buenos Aires (it is in Argentina in 1966 that the quartet recorded the album "The Forest and the Zoo").

In 1967 Rava is in New York, where he is introduced into the free avant-garde, among which are Roswell Rudd, Marion Brown, Rashied Ali, Cecil Taylor, Charlie Haden, etc. He then went to Italy and played with various musicians including Franco D'Andrea and where he recorded with Lee Konitz in Rome and with Manfred Schoof in Bremen, he returns to New York in 1969, where he lived for eight years. At first he played mostly with Rudd, Bill Dixon and Carla Bley's Jazz Composer's Orchestra, under whose direction he recorded "Escalator Over the Hill". Beginning in 1972, when he recorded his first album as a leader, "Il giro del giorno in 80 mondi", Rava directed quartets (in New York clubs and on tours in Europe and Argentina), nearly always in pianoless groups.

Rava recorded and performed with playings and many Italian, European and American musicians such as Franco D'Andrea, Enrico Pieranunzi, Marcello Melis, Massimo Urbani, Paolo Fresu, Pietro Tonolo, Stefano Bollani, Roberto Gatto, John Abercrombie, Roswell Rudd, Miroslav Vitous, Richard Galliano, J.F. Jenny-Clark, Misha Mengelberg, Dino Saluzzi, Lee Konitz, Martial Solal, Pat Metheny Charlie Mariano, Cecil Taylor, Jimmy Lyons, Archie Shepp etc. He has played on tours and concerts in USA, Japan, Canada, Europe, Brazil, China, Argentina, taking part in important Festivals (Montreal, Toronto, Houston, San Francisco, Chicago, New York,Rio De Janeiro,Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Perugia, Antibes, Berlin, Paris Tokyo, Peking, etc). He has several times been selected best musician in the annual poll conducted by "Musica Jazz", and has also won the title in the "best group" and "best italian album" categories. He ranked the 4th place on the Down Beat 2006 and 2007 polls.

The Enrico Rava Tribe features Enrico Rava on trumpet, ianluca Petrella on trombone, Giovanni Guidi on piano, Gabriele Evangelista bass, and Fabrizio Sferra on drums.

The Herbst Theatre is located at 401 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco.

For tickets and more information visit sfjazz.org,


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