Abercrombie, John (jazz) (Laird)
- J. Bradford Robinson
- , revised by Barry Kernfeld
(b Port Chester, NY, Dec 16, 1944; d Cortlandt Manor, NY, Aug 22, 2017). American guitarist and leader. He was brought up in Connecticut and took up guitar at the age of 14. From 1962 to 1966 he attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, during which time he performed with Johnny Hammond, playing locally at the Big M club and touring. He later studied at North Texas State University. After moving to New York in 1969 he played mainly in Chico Hamilton’s group, but also briefly joined the jazz-rock group Dreams (which included Billy Cobham and the Brecker brothers) and worked with Jeremy Steig, Gil Evans, and Gato Barbieri. In 1974 he became a member of Cobham’s jazz-rock group Spectrum, where he attracted widespread attention. From this same year, when his highly regarded trio recording Timeless was recorded, he began to prefer a subdued, “chamber” jazz style of performance, either working with his own small groups, including the trio Gateway with Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette (...