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John Abercrombie Quartet: Wait Till You See Her

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Guitarist Johnny Smith always had a soft spot for the Rodgers & Hart show tune “Wait Till You See Her.” Smith enjoyed playing it in a solo setting, fancifully arranged with raked arpeggios, a moving bassline and a dramatic shift in tempo. Listening to the title track on John Abercrombie’s new CD, it’s clear he’s a sucker for the melody too, though his quartet’s interpretation is lean and low-key, as soulful as it is insinuating.

Then again, that’s a not a bad description of the entire session, save for violinist Mark Feldman’s rhapsodic arcs and the sometimes kinetic interplay generated by Abercrombie, Feldman, bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Joey Baron. Apart from the Rodgers & Hart theme, all the tunes were composed by Abercrombie and are distinguished by his expert touch, from the languid, minor-key blues “Sad Song,” deftly accented by Baron’s fluttering brushes, to the album’s richly textured and aptly titled coda, “Chic of Araby.”

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