JOHN ABERCROMBIE, 72, of heart failure on August 22 in Courtlandt Manor, NY. Called “a guitarist of stylistic flexibility and uncompromising musical vision,” he was as adept with standards as he was with flights into rock-accented fusion. He discovered jazz through listening to recordings by Barney Kessel.
While still a student at Berklee College of Music, he toured with organist Johnny “Hammond” Smith. Abercrombie had a long association with ECM, recording dozens of albums for the label as a leader, co-leader and sideman, starting with his first recording in 1974—Timeless featuring drummer Jack DeJohnette and organist/pianist Jan Hammer.