16 December 1944, Portchester, New York, USA. After studying at Berklee College Of Music in Boston, Abercrombie spent four years playing guitar in Johnny Hammond Smiths group. Touring with an established band offered him the kind of practical study that was ideal after Berklees academic hothouse of the late 60s. Moving back to New York in 1969, his already unusual technical command of the instrument meant he had little difficulty finding opportunities to play with fine musicians. In the ensuing five years he played alongside Randy Brecker and Michael Brecker in the group Dreams, and toured with the Chico Hamilton Band, including an appearance at the Montreux International Jazz Festival. In demand as a sideman from countless band leaders, from Gil Evans to Gato Barbieri, it was in Billy Cobhams fusion group Spectrum that Abercrombies reputation quickly spread. This hard-driving, rock-influenced band was the perfect vehicle for...
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