JOHN ABERCROMBIE — Sargasso Sea (with Ralph Towner)

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JOHN ABERCROMBIE - Sargasso Sea (with Ralph Towner) cover
3.40 | 12 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 1976

Tracklist

A1.Fable (8:40)
A2.Avenue (5:16)
A3.Sargasso Sea (3:57)
A4.Over And Gone (2:46)
B1.Elbow Room (5:10)
B2.Staircase (6:20)
B3.Romantic Descension (3:15)
B4.Parasol (5:24)

Line-up/Musicians

- John Abercrombie / electric guitar, acoustic guitar
- Ralph Towner / 12 string guitar, classical guitar, piano

About this release

ECM Records – ECM 1080 (Germany)

Recorded May 1976, Oslo

Thanks to snobb for the addition and kazuhiro for the updates

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JOHN ABERCROMBIE SARGASSO SEA (WITH RALPH TOWNER) reviews

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Members reviews

Sean Trane
A guitar duo album, like there are a few hundreds in jazz’s history and this one doesn’t do much to add to the genre, and I must say, that it’s a typical ECM album, although I wouldn’t dream using this against the label, or the musicians.

Actually Sargasso Sea is an apt title for this type of album as it is a calm and no wind sea, where fast sailing is almost impossible due to the algae growing to the surface. Such a calm sea can be soporific to sail, the album is just as sleep-inducing. Don’t get me wrong, Abercrombie and Towner are two fine musicians who both play delicious guitar and the music on the album is beautiful, but so quiet that it induces slumber. Believe me, it’s not even out of boredom (well a bit, but not much), but it’s the nature of the music that provokes such a relaxation that it almost becomes new-age-type.

So we get a bunch of acoustic guitar tracks, or sometimes a guitar/piano duet, and the listener is set for calm uneventful run-through the album, except that at one point, one of the tracks is rather different and actually does the worst thing it can do: wake you up from your torpor. It has loud bangs and electric guitar, delays/echoes, effects, etc…. Elbow Room (that’s the name of the track) sounds so out of context from the rest of the album, that it sticks out like a sore thumb and makes it a clear “faute de gout”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s quite a fine track (I’ve certainly got nothing against it), should it have been placed on another album than Sargasso Sea.

Aside that clear flaw, SS is a typical acoustic guitar duo, one that could be interchangeable with Coryell and Catherine or so many others….Up to you to decide whether this is worth your investigation, but I wouldn’t bother.

Ratings only

  • lunarston
  • Fant0mas
  • M23MuM24
  • Muerte Inoxia
  • Steve Wyzard
  • KK58
  • wthii
  • historian9
  • richby
  • Drummer
  • rigoboy

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