Sample Sunday

Published on June 16th, 2013 | by Queso


Sample Sunday: John Abercrombie – “Timeless”

I’m sure most people would see the name “Abercrombie” and think the clothing. What the heck would I be doing talking about Abercrombie clothing? This jazz song led to two dope Hip-Hop tracks including TDE and Slum Village.

The Sample

“Timeless” is a single from the album of the same title, released in 1974. The album was recorded by John Abercrombie (Guitar), Jack DeJohnette (Drums), and Jan Hammer (Organ, Piano, Synthesizer). The title track is a piece coming in at just under 12-minutes and can be said to have two distinct movements. The first starts with a held organ note with a sprinkle of guitar and drumming.

The second sees more action, opening with the subtle guitar plucks over a soft, melodic organ. The organ really gives this track a feel of being in a serene place. The activity and complexity of the track increases as time progresses, adding drums, dancing around with the guitar solo, and dabbling a bit with the synthesizer. While it increases in complexity, it never becomes very complex, remaining peaceful while keeping the listener engaged.


The Flip

I looked up this sample because of Ab-Soul’s “Turn Me Up” featuring Kendrick Lamar. The track opens up with the same subtle guitar over the melodic organ that opens up the “second movement,” although the exact sample appears to come from 9:54 in “Timeless” and continues throughout. “Turn Me Up” carries much of a similar sound to “Timeless” and only really adds drums, scratching, and a Redman vocal sample.

Many people may actually know our sample from a Slum Village track, produced by Black Milk. For those not in the know, it’s “Reunion,” including J Dilla, T3, and Elzhi. This track has a more chopped up sample of “Timeless” and an overall more upbeat sound. Baatin wasn’t on the track because of mental issues, although Dilla’s verse is about them all reuniting. Elzhi addresses the Baatin issue on this track.

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is co-founder and editor-in-chief of If he's not fooling around on the website, you may be able to catch him listening to Prince, stream-monstering, or making pancakes. Follow him @theconqueso or email at

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