Q - 7/96, p.132
"...impeccable improvisation and a rare chance to hear two contemporary jazz and fusion heroes pooling resources....Both men...are known for an unconventional, contemporary fusion approach, so it's refreshing to hear them trading finely balanced bop solos..."
JazzTimes - 9/96, p.119
"Emphasizing facile, melodic duo-guitar interplay...this all-too-short but sweet CD...reveals influences of Wes Montgomery, Bill Evans and Miles Davis. The snug and sunny album contains seven pleasing bebop and ballad selections, three which are enhanced with [a rhythm section]..."
Personnel: John Abercrombie (guitar, electric mandolin); John Scofield (guitar); George Mraz (bass); Peter Donald (drums).
Recorded at Music Annex Recording Studios, Menlo Park, California and Classic Sound Studios, New York, New York in May 1982 and December 1983. Includes liner notes by Orrin Keepnews.
Personnel: John Abercrombie (guitar, mandolin, electric mandolin); John Scofield (guitar); Peter Donald (drums).
Liner Note Authors: John Abercrombie; Orrin Keepnews; John Scofield.
Recording information: Classic Sound Studios, NY (05/1982/12/1983); Music Annex Recording Studios (05/1982/12/1983).
SOLAR, a 1982 collaboration with fellow guitarist John Scofield, is an unusual album for John Abercrombie. For one thing, he plays mandolin rather than guitar on several tracks. Secondly, SOLAR is one of Abercrombie's rare albums with a rhythm section (drummer Peter Donald and bassist George Mraz). Most unusually, there are no original compositions. Instead, SOLAR, as its subtitle indicates, is an album of bebop standards performed by Abercrombie and Scofield. If the idea of a bebop album with no piano or horns--the instruments most identified with the form--seems unusual, that's probably exactly what Abercrombie and Scofield were shooting for. Hearing familiar bebop standards like "Even Steven" and "Four On Six" in new, often radically different arrangements, leads listeners familiar with the songs to appreciate them in entirely new ways.