John Abercrombie Organ Trio

A Tribute to Attila Zoller

This concert pays tribute to the Vermont Jazz Center's founder, the brilliant, Hungarian guitarist, Attila Zoller. Drummer Adam Nussbaum and legendary guitarist, John Abercrombie were Zoller's close friends and musical colleagues. Both will bring stories of their times with Attila while merging his music to the groove of Gary Versace's organ.

The seed for this concert was planted at a kitchen table just after Nussbaum played here with Sheila Jordan and Cameron Brown in 2007. This time he'll arrive with an all-star trio including guitarist, John Abercrombie (Billy Cobham, the Brecker Brothers, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland, etc.) and the innovative Gary Versace on the Hammond Organ (Rising Star - Downbeat Critic's Poll, recordings with Maria Schneider, Lee Konitz, Matt Wilson).

John Abercrombie Trio to Perform at the VJC on April 16th, 2011 at 8:00 PM, a mix of fusion, funk and straight ahead with a Hammond B3!

The Vermont Jazz Center will present three heavy hitters in concert on April 16th at 8:00 at the VJC in a tribute to Founding Director, Attila Zoller. Two of Zoller's close friends, guitarist John Abercrombie and drummer Adam Nussbaum will be joined by HammondB3 player, Gary Versace. The trio will present an evening of music and stories, evoking memories of Zoller by playing his compositions, reinterpreting the jazz standards that he loved and conveying colorful anecdotes of a man whose life burgeoned with productive energy, creativity and surprise. This festive evening will serve as a coming together of three, high-level musicians who are masters in their own right; Abercrombie, especially can be singled out as having directly affected the evolution of modern jazz. First as a trailblazer in the jazz-rock-fusion style, then as someone with who uses jazz standards and the jazz language as a springboard for an eclectic, totally unique approach.

Each year the Vermont Jazz Center offers a concert that serves to remember and honor its founder, Attila Zoller. He established the Vermont Jazz Center officially in 1974, but in many ways, it was his life's work and stands as a living tribute to his broad vision and tremendous passion. John Abercrombie, in an interview with Richie Boukas shortly after Zoller's death is quoted in the liner notes of Attila's final CD: "He was and still is to me some kind of great life force. A positive, caring individual who just happened to play jazz guitar beautifully. I first met him in the early 70s and... we've remained friends ever since [this was 1998]...Attila was probably the most supportive musician I've ever met. He was always going to check out all the musicians playing around and inspiring them with words of encouragement...He played music like he lived his life - with passion, warmth, intuition and a desire to find something different!" Abercrombie continued, referring to the repertoire the group will play on Saturday, April 16th: "For Attila, we'll probably play one or two of his compositions and choose from some standards that he and I used to play. "Alone together" would be a nice one because that's a tune that he liked to play."

John Abercrombie's career spans more than 40 years and over 200 albums; he has clearly established himself as one the masters of jazz guitar. Favoring unusual sounds and nontraditional ensembles, Abercrombie is a restless experimenter, working firmly in the jazz tradition while pushing the boundaries of meter and harmony. After graduating from Berklee College of Music, Abercrombie quickly became one of New York's most in-demand session players recording with Gil Evans, Gato Barbieri, the Brecker Brothers and Chico Hamilton. But it was in Billy Cobham's band that Abercrombie first started to build a following, playing rock arenas in the jazz-fusion style. Later, he more clearly defined himself and went on to create numerous records for the ECM label with Jan Hammer, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland, Richie Beirach, George Mraz, Jan Garbarek, Ralph Towner, John Scofield and others. He also reached back to his roots and formed an organ trio with Dan Wall and drummer Adam Nussbaum that forayed into a more soul-based jazz. You will hear the evolution of that group's concept in their performance at the Vermont Jazz Center with Gary Versace on Hammond. As he told one interviewer, "I'd like people to perceive me as having a direct connection to the history of jazz guitar, while expanding some musical boundaries." That, no doubt, will be his legacy.

Once again, the jazz center is presenting a chance to hear a very urban, hip music of the highest caliber in a rural setting. John Abercrombie is a living legend, so to hear him with Adam Nussbaum and Gary Versace in our own backyard is a real treat. No major traffic jams here! John Abercrombie/Adam Nussbaum Trio featuring Gary Versace will perform on Saturday, April 16th at 8:00 PM at the Vermont Jazz Center in Brattleboro, VT.

Saturday, April 16
8:00 PM
Vermont Jazz Center
$20 general admission/$15 for students
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