Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily M. Darrow

Free concert features John Abercrombie, guitar; Loren Stillman, horn; and Bob Meyer, drums.

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—On Saturday, April 24, The Bard Center will present a concert by the jazz trio Jackalope. Free and open to the public, the program will begin at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall. Trio members are John Abercrombie, guitar; Loren Stillman, horn; and Bob Meyer, drums. They will perform selections from their recent release Saltier Then Ever!, as well as new compositions and American music standards. For further information, call The Bard Center at 845-758-7425.

"Here’s three of the most creative, imaginative musicians on the scene today, working together with the collective interplay that translates into beautiful music," says noted saxophonist Joe Lovano. "The tone and feeling within this trio is warm, rich and focused. Each composition takes you places, some timeless music, fresh and powerful! I’ve heard them in concert and within the first moments Jackalope became one of my favorite groups today."

John Abercrombie began playing the guitar at the age of 14. While an undergraduate at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, he was offered a chance to tour with organist Johnny Hammond, which led to his going on the road for weeks at a time, playing such spots as Count Basie's Lounge and the Club Baron in Harlem. During that same period, Abercrombie joined the Brecker Brothers and appeared on their Columbia debut album. Following graduation he moved to New York and developed into one of the city’s most sought-after session musicians, recording with Gil Evans, Gato Barbieri, Barry Miles, and many other artists. As a guitarist in Billy Cobham's band, he first began attracting widespread attention among the general public on Cobham's Crosswinds, Total Eclipse, and Shabazz albums. Abercrombie found himself playing large concert halls and arenas, on bills with such top rock attractions as the Doobie Brothers. While at the Montreux Festival, he ran into Manfred Eicher, who invited him to record an album for ECM. The result was Timeless, on which he was joined by Jan Hammer and Jack DeJohnette; the album received virtually unanimous critical acclaim. A second ECM recording Gateway was released in November 1975 and marked the first collaborative effort of Abercrombie with DeJohnette and bassist Dave Holland. In 1979, Abercrombie formed his own quartet, which included pianist Richie Beirach, bassist George Mraz, and drummer Peter Donald. The group has made three recordings: Arcade, Abercrombie Quartet, and M. Abercrombie and guitarist Ralph Towner recorded Sargasso Sea in 1976 and Five Years Later in 1982. Abercrombie’s touring trio, with Mark Johnson and PeterErskine, is heard on Current Events, Getting There (with frequent guest Michael Brecker), and John Abercrombie/Marc Johnson/Peter Erskine. His affinity for jazz standards complements his role as an active clinician and teacher. Following the 1992 recording While We're Young, with organist Dan Wall and drummer Adam Nussbaum, Abercrombie has continued to work with the trio, releasing Speak of the Devil, Tactics, and Open Land, on which the trio is joined by violinist Mark Feldman, trumpeter and flugelhornist Kenny Wheeler, and tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano.

In a concert review, the Boston Globe noted that the "sprawling energy of drummer Bob Meyer . . . delivered complete musical statements." Meyer appears on Joe Lovano’s new Blue Note release and with his group, Viva Caruso. Meyer’s own group, Mount Airy, performs Jewish liturgical music in a modern improvisational style. He has played with Mal Waldron, James Moody, Gary Peacock, Kirk Leitsey, Stanley Cowell, Diane Schuur, Art Davis, Andy Statman, Perry Robinson, and Judi Silvano, among others. He was an artist in residence at the International Center for Creative Music, founded by Arnie Lawrence, in Jerusalem, Israel, in 1998–99, and performed all over Israel and Palestinian territories with Israeli and Palestinian musicians. His recordings include Vocalese, featuring Joe Lovano; Chasin’ the Goal; Cosmos with the Loren Stillman Project; Kaleidoscopic Visions, The Next Rebirth, Rebirth at the Zoo, and other albums with Bert Wilson; Got a Song That I Sing; Meshugge For You with the Mazeltones; and the soon to be released Avi Adrian with Avishi Cohen. Meyer trained with Jack DeJohnette, Frankie Dunlop, Henry Adler, and Jim Chapin, and received a B.A. degree from George Washington University.

Ben Ratliff writes in the New York Times that "Loren Stillman . . . hears it [jazz] as a rare, exotic form whose notes inflate and wilt and trill, almost a kind of meditation on texture." He began playing the saxophone at the age of 7. Showing a great natural ability on the instrument, he was encouraged by his teacher, Gerry Mohen, and family to attend the New England Music Camp, where he studied with saxophonist Dan Goble. He won the camp concerto competition playing Glazunov’s Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra with a professional string orchestra, and was lead alto sax and soloist with the camp jazz band. In 1995, he attended the saxophone master class at Tanglewood Institute, where he studied with Harvey Pittel, a world-renowned classical saxophone virtuoso. During the mid-1990s, he studied with Ted Nash, a saxophonist with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, while continuing instruction with Goble. By 1996, his proficiency on the saxophone led him to seek advanced instruction with David Liebman, a noted soprano saxophonist, and Lee Konitz, one of the great alto saxophonists. Stillman received a full artistic merit scholarship to attend Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Dick Oatts, alto sax player with the late Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra, and Garry Dial, pianist and composer. After a two-year hiatus from school, during which he composed, taught, and recorded, Stillman returned to complete his musical studies at New School University, which also awarded him a full artistic merit scholarship. He has written many original compositions that appear on his recordings and has become proficient on flute and clarinet as well as alto and soprano saxophones. His expertise on all woodwinds spans classical and jazz repertoires.

This concert is made possible, in part, through the generosity of the Homeland Foundation and the Leon Levy Foundation at Bard College.

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This event was last updated on 04-26-2004