For 30 years, indelible jazz guitarist John Abercrombie has been a cornerstone of Manfred Eicher's ECM label, whose signature penchant for fostering spatial intrigue has given Abercrombie plenty of room for exploration. Anchored in virtuoso technique, a clear preference for nuance over flash, and a distinctive lyrical touch, Abercrombie nonetheless has ventured far and wide: classic jazz guitar on the order of Charlie Christian; fusion, folk, and global influences; a lengthy flirtation with synthesizers; and a succession of groups featuring organs. His latest quartet, featuring Mark Feldman's violin, is yielding some of the best music of his career. On this year's superb The Third Quartet (ECM), the interaction of guitar and violin is not of the swinging Reinhardt-Grappelli ilk (although there are hints of it, especially in the sizzling version of Ornette Coleman's "Round Trip"), but more of a chamber jazz thing, where post-bop improvisations and the musicians' intuitive reactions create vividly impressionistic music. The exquisite rhythm section of drummer Joey Baron and bassist Marc Johnson sets an essentially airy pace with graceful, supple touches while contributing its own textural conspiracies. All will be on hand at the Dakota except Johnson, who'll be replaced by Scott Colley on bass. $27 at 7:00 p.m.; $20 at 9:30 p.m.
Nov. 5-6, 2007