American jazz trio formed in 1975. The members were John Abercrombie, guitar, Dave Holland, bass, and Jack DeJohnette, drums. The group has also joined Collin Walcott on his debut album Cloud Dance (ECM 1062) recorded in 1975. The trio reunited temporarily for a performance in 2012 to mark DeJohnette's 70th birthday
Gateway 2 is the second album by Gateway, a trio composed of John Abercrombie, Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette. It was recorded in 1977 and released on the ECM label in 1978. The Allmusic review by Scott Yanow
states "the playing on the five group originals is generally more fiery
than introspective. None of the individual selections are all that
memorable but the group improvising does have plenty of surprising
In this era of tawdry sequels, it’s almost difficult to believe that
John Abercrombie, Dave Holland, and Jack DeJohnette could have surpassed
the profundity of 1975’s seminal Gateway. I say “almost” only
because each member of this dream trio has yet to let this committed
listener down and always comes to the studio bearing a basket
overflowing with fresh ideas. Not only do the results of this 1978
follow-up not disappoint, they ascend into their own category.
At first we aren’t sure what to think in the carefully executed
half-sleep of the 16-minute “Opening.” Amid tinkling icicles
Abercrombie’s guitar wavers above the bass as it gradually forms
intelligible words out of the scattered letters with which we are
confronted. The process is so intensely organic that we find ourselves
being lulled into its speech-like rhythms. As the snare becomes more
forthcoming with its intentions, Holland fleshes out its implications
with a tantalizing loop, through which Abercrombie hooks his song with a
sound that is wiry yet ethereal. Just as engaging in his supportive
statements, he provides ornamentation for Holland as DeJohnette rides
with fierce precision into a fine solo of his own. The steam of malleted
cymbals condenses into the following “Reminiscence.” Holland and
Abercrombie blend into a larger instrument in this pensive track that
sounds like the acoustic shadow of Pat Metheny’s “Midwestern Night
Dream” (see Bright Size Life).
“Sing Song” is another dose of milk-and-honey goodness. Wonderfully
nuanced drumming here from DeJohnette uplifts even as it placates.
Meanwhile, Abercrombie leans back into an ergonomic continuity that soon
plateaus into an engaging turn from Holland, whose quintessential bass
line in “Nexus” opens the band to a limber display of virtuosity.
Abercrombie is again transcendent in this tower of syncopation, from
which trails the Rapunzel-like strands of a limitless creative cache.
DeJohnette’s piano turns “Blue” into an ending that is as bitter as it
For those who haven’t heard this unit’s first album, I recommend
doing so before settling into this one. Not because either is “better”
than the other, but only because the development between the two is more
readily appreciated when experienced chronologically. In any case, Gateway 2 is its own animal that thrives best in the habitat of our appreciation.
1. "Opening" (John Abercrombie/Dave Holland/Jack DeJohnette) - 16:17
2. "Reminiscence" (Holland) - 4:32
3. "Sing Song" (Abercrombie) - 6:55
4. "Nexus" (Holland) - 7:55
5. "Blue" (DeJohnette) - 8:14
Recorded in July 1977 at Talent Studio, Oslo, Norway
John Abercrombie: electric guitar, acoustic guitar, electric mandolin
Jack DeJohnette: drums, piano
Dave Holland: bass