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…Abercrombie hat auch ein paar neue Stücke für das Album geschrieben, das delicate “Nick Of Time” und den lieblichen Walzer „Easy Reader“. Den Titelsong aus seiner Feder hat er elegant mit dem Standard „Without A Song“ verwoben. Bassist Drew Gress und Schlagzeuger Joey Baron spinnen auf der ganzen Platte einen feinen Kokon aus Rhythmus, in dem Abercrombie und Lovano sich gegenseitig die Bälle zuspielen können. Eine so bekannte Nummer wie Miles Davis’ „Flamenco Sketches“ (von „Kind Of Blue“, der wohl berühmtesten Jazzplatte überhaupt) kommt bei Abercrombie aus dem Nichts, nur unterstützt von Joey Barons feinem Beckenrauschen. Und dann gelingt es Joe Lovano, aus den Akkordprogressionen etwas völlig Neues zu entwickeln.
roth, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Guitarist John Abercrombie has been one of the most thoughtful and least exhibitionist improvisers of the post-bop era. Now, with a trio of master musicians – saxophonist Joe Lovano, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Joey Baron – he delves back into his roots, re-examining the work of the musicians who inspired him. Unlike some, as he wryly comments in his accompanying note, Abercrombie remembers the 1960s clearly. It was the time when musicians like Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Bill Evans and Jim Hall were taking be-bop in new directions, giving those of Abercrombie’s generation, in his words, “a place to live.” Each of them is celebrated here, but the guitarist still manages to make a record that is very much his own, his feather-light touch coaxing intense creativity out of his bandmates.
Cormac Larkin, The Irish Times

The guitarist’s precision, warm sound and ability to match tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano’s free-floating invention reveal music of greater substance, with drummer Joey Baron’s restrained subtleties and the unobtrusive, firm-fingered bassist Drew Gress spurring and supporting each twist of Lovano’s gruff, wispy and perfectly placed lines.
Mike Hobart, Financial Times

Auf “Within A Song”, seiner jüngsten Einspielung für das Münchner Label ECM, mitgeschnitten in den New Yorker Avatar-Studios, kehrt Abercrombie zurück in die Zeit, die ihn als Jüngling musikalisch geprägt hat: in die Jahre um 1960. […] Mit von der Partie sind auf dieser Quartett-Aufnahme Joe Lovano, ein Rubens des Saxofons, der feinfühlige Schlagzeug-Poet Joey Baron und der empathische Bassist Drew Gress. Ein reifes, rundes Album voller Überraschungen – und keineswegs nur etwas für nostalgische Kenner.
Manfred Papst, NZZ am Sonntag

Dass John Abercrombie sein Album “Within A Song” nannte, offenbart mehr als einen feinen Sinn des Gitarristen für Humor. Zum einen ist der Titel vordergründig eine Antwort auf Vincent Youmans 1929 komponierten Jazzklassiker „Without A Song“. Andererseits beschreibt er genau das Hörerlebnis: Die vier dringen in die Tiefe der neun Titel vor und kratzen nicht nur an deren Oberfläche. […] So unaufdringlich und filigran die Aufnahmen zunächst auch wirken mögen, so viel Tiefgang und Substanz hat das scheinbar Leichte auch.
Werner Stiefele, Audio

The atmosphere is delicate (Baron at times seems barely to be touching his cymbals) but there’s a great deal more exuberant swing than on recent Abercrombie sessions - and this all-star group constantly demonstrate how joyous that can sound without winding up the volume.
John Fordham, The Guardian

With expert backing from Drew Gress and Joey Baron, he and Joe Lovano revisit the likes of Sonny Rollins’ “The Bridge”, Ornette’s “Blues Connotations” and Coltrane’s “Wise One” with admiring empathy and delicate invention that, in Abercrombie’s case, draws on the harmonic genius of Jim Hall. Even “Flamenco Sketches”, significantly re-imagined, sounds fresh here. There are originals too: “Nick of Time” defies easy encapsulation and sounds as though, like the iconic tunes that surround it, it might itself still be worth plundering for it’s musical riches in 50 years’ time.
Robert Shore, Jazzwise

Tenor saxophone with bass and drums is a jazz format with a wild and woolly tradition. For tenor virtuosos like Sonny Rollins and Joe Henderson, trios have been opportunities to risk everything, to dance on a tightrope with no net. The tenor trio that calls itself Fly breaks with this tradition explicitly. Fly plays cerebral, rapt, interactive chamber jazz, deriving a wide range of textures and colors from three instruments. […] The music of Fly is sophisticated and sincere and enormously competent. …
Thomas Conrad, Jazz Times

Within A Song is a testimonial to guitarist John Abercrombie’s longstanding appreciation for beauty. All but two of its nine tracks are covers of songs taken from jazz albums first released in a period from 1959-64, when Abercrombie was between the ages of 14 and 19 and just formulating his aesthetic. Some, such as John Coltrane’s “Wise One” and “Flamenco Sketches” from the Miles Davis disc, Kind of Blue, are justly renowned for their delicacy. But Abercrombie also ferrets out the pleasantly voluptuous contours of Ornette Coleman’s “Blues Connotation” in a manner that contrasts with the antic Coleman original from 1961, and he has a band of top-shelf talents — saxophonist Joe Lovano with him on the front line, and bassist Drew Gress and his longtime cohort, drummer Joey Baron, in the rhythm section — capable of the subtlety and sophistication that spells the difference between what is merely pretty and what is luminescent.
Britt Robson,