ECM Records released the documentary Open Land – Meeting John Abercrombie on DVD on June 15 to international audiences. The film, which will be available in the U.S. on Aug. 3, was directed by Arno Oehri and produced by Oliver Primus. Watch the trailer for the film via the player below:
Abercrombie, who died on August 22, 2017, was considered one of the greatest contemporary jazz guitar improvisers. A few years before his death, Oehri visited him at his home in Greenwich, Connecticut, to film an intimate portrait of his creative life far from the mainstream and his music career, beginning with his first encounter with an electric guitar onwards.
Subtly combining and contrasting images and sound, the director is able to achieve a fine balance between music passages and interviews. In Open Land, we see Abercrombie gigging with Gary Versace and Adam Nussbaum, jamming with Rob Scheps, Eliot Zigmund and David Kingsnorth in New York, teaching music students at Purchase College, talking guitars with New York luthier Ric McCurdy and hanging out at his own home with his wife, Lisa, and his cat, Al.
Along the way, the guitarist reflects on his life with characteristic good humor. In addition to live performances, the film’s soundtrack includes selections from many of his ECM recordings – from Timeless, his 1975 debut album for the label, to 39 Steps, his penultimate ECM album from 2013.
For more information on Open Land – Meeting John Abercrombie, go to http://www.abercrombiefilm.com/.