Archive for the McCoy TYNER Category

McCoy TYNER Quartet – Enlightenment 1973

Posted in JAZZ, McCoy TYNER on December 10, 2010 by whoisthemonk

McCoy TYNER Quartet – Enlightenment 1973
Recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Casino De Montreux, Switzerland, July 7, 1973

Jazz

This is one of the great McCoy Tyner recordings. The powerful, percussive, and highly influential pianist sounds quite inspired throughout his appearance at the 1973 Montreux Jazz Festival. Azar Lawrence (on tenor and soprano) is also quite noteworthy and there is plenty of interplay with bassist Juney Booth and drummer Alphonse Mouzon. But Tyner is the main star, whether it be on his three-part Enlightenment Suite, Presence, Nebula, or the 25-minute Walk Spirit, Talk Spirit.
**
Recorded in 1973 at the Montreux Jazz Festival, ENLIGHTENMENT is one of McCoy Tyner’s finest recordings (which, considering the quality of his catalogue, is quite a feat). Backed by drummer Alphonse Mouzon, bassist Juney Booth, and saxophonist Azar Lawrence, Tyner puts on a performance that incorporates elements of post-bop, modal, free jazz, and other styles (the influence of John Coltrane, Tyner’s former bandleader, is evident too).

The concert is presented in its entirety, a full 70 minutes, including the “Enlightenment Suite,” which is divided into three parts, “Presence,” and the 24-minute “Walk Spirit, Talk Spirit.” A kinetic, telepathic vibe can be heard evolving between these players, but this is very much Tyner’s show: his trademark chordings and dazzling runs are in full flower. Adventurous, stunning, and quite beautiful, ENLIGHTENMENT is a must-have for fans of Tyner and late-’60s/early-’70s jazz.
**
McCoy Tyner- Piano, Percussion, Synthesizer
Azar Lawrence- Tenor and Soprano Sax
Joony Booth- Bass
Alphonse Mouzon- Drums
**
01. Presenting the McCoy Tyner Quartet (Introduced by French disc jockey Pierre Lattès) 1:19
02. Enlightenment Suite, Part 1 – Genesis 10:02
03. Enlightenment Suite, Part 2 The Offering 4:00
04. Enlightenment Suite, Part 3 – Inner Glimpse 10:04
05. Presence 10:35
06. Nebula 9:39
07. Walk Spirit, Talk Spirit 24:04
**

Continue reading

Advertisements

McCoy TYNER – Reaching Fourth 1963

Posted in BLUES, McCoy TYNER on November 23, 2010 by whoisthemonk

McCoy TYNER – Reaching Fourth 1963
2001 Issue. IMP-88083

Jazz

This album is quite interesting as many of McCoy’s non-Trane features (both as a leader and sideman) usually featured Elvin Jones on drums and Reggie Workman (both Coltrane alumnus) or Ron Carter on bass, while Reaching Fourth has a different trio format. What we have here is part of Roy Haynes’s working group, Roy Haynes on drums and henry Grimes on bass. Although Haynes and Tyner played together in the John Coltrane Quartet (when Elvin was unavailable) it is quite interesting to hear the strikingly different interaction between the three. The difference here probably lies in the fact that Coltrane was looking for someone (Haynes) to replace Elvin, while with McCoy in charge, he seems to be looking for a whole new and different “group” experience. The members of the trio all play strong here and have pleanty of solo space where they shine… Highly fun and recommended, especially the first song, Reaching Fourth, a McCoy Tyner original which has some extrodinarily high quality soloing by both Haynes and Grimes.
By Frank Bock.
**
Anyone who was confused by other reviews of this product, might want to read this quick history of Tyner, Coltrane, Monk and Haynes; which is interestingly tied together through the 1957-62 period.

Coltrane & Monk first played together April 16, 1957 on the tune “Monk’s Mood” and in June and July of that year for nine more songs which have all been issued on Monk’s Complete Riverside sessions. Coltrane only played live during the rest of this time with Monk (July 18 till December 16 1957). Oddly enough Roy Haynes & Coltrane first played together September 11, 1958 at the Five Spot, NYC when both Coltrane and Haynes sat in the Thelonious Monk Quartet for five tunes, now issued on Thelonious Monk’s Complete Blue Note Recordings (Disc 4). This single performance and Tyner’s album REACHING FOURTH must have made an impression, as Coltrane would enlist Haynes later. As for Tyner & Coltrane, they first played together June 27, 1960 in a Coltrane led Quartet which appeared at the Jazz Gallery, NYC for 2 shows and the Showboat in Philly for 4 shows the next month; all of which are unreleased as commercial products. Tyner & Coltrane’s first studio session together was September 8, 1960 at United Recorders in Los Angeles; producing “Mr Day (aka One And Four),” “Exotica” & “Like Sonny (aka Simple Like)” for Roulette. Their next session, which was their first together for Atlantic, and also the first time Tyner & Elvin Jones played together with Coltrane was on October 21, 1960 for the songs “Village Blues” and “My Favorite Things”. And finally, it wasn’t until November 2, 1961 that Tyner and Haynes first played together for what is now Coltrane’s The Complete Village Vanguard sessions, but strangely enough only on the first song of the night “Chasin’ Another Trane,” after which Haynes is replaced by Elvin Jones. Tyner plays for a total of 5 songs, comping on only the first with Haynes. As a side note, Tyner & Workman first played together when Workman joined the Africa Brass session on May 23, 1961. So, to sum up; REACHING FOURTH is the first studio session Tyner & Haynes ever recorded together, though they had played one song together at the Village Vanguard previously and would continue to work together in the Coltrane Quartet later whenever Elvin was unavailable. I hope this elucidates, rather than further confuses Jazzophiles.
**
McCoy Tyner- Piano
Henry Grimes- Bass
Roy Haynes- Drums
**
01. Reaching Fourth 4:18
02. Goodbye 5:42
03. Theme for Ernie 5:57
04. Blues Back 6:53
05. Old Devil Moon [From Finian’s Rainbow] 7:26
06. Have You Met Miss Jones [From I’d Rather Be Right] 3:46
**

Continue reading

McCoy TYNER – Guitars 2008

Posted in JAZZ, McCoy TYNER on November 18, 2010 by whoisthemonk

McCoy TYNER – Guitars 2008
Recorded at Clinton Studios, New York on September 7 (tracks 4-5 & 10-14)
and September 25 (tracks 1-3 & 6-9), 2006

Jazz

This recording is a studio throw-down with 5 of popular music’s most accomplished string specialists: Derek Trucks, Bela Fleck, Bill Frisell, John Scofield, and Marc Ribot. The song stack covers the old and new. McCoy finds common ground alongside a group of handpicked guitar and banjo players. It’s a meeting of the generations. The DVD/CD set includes a DVD documenting the making of the CD replete with studio performances, chatter, and viewer options for what to see and where to look.

One of the most important and enduring jazz pianists emerging from the 1960s, McCoy Tyner needs little introduction. John Coltrane’s former sideman’s style has always mixed melody, beauty, invention, and volatility. GUITARS is proof he’s lost none of his edge. Here, Tyner mixes it up with a seemingly disparate range of guitarists (and one banjoist!), which might shock some old-school fans. Each guitarist joins Tyner’s trio for two or three tracks. Marc Ribot’s jazz-informed thorniness, John Scofield’s plump-toned élan, Bela Fleck’s down-home sophistication and clarity, Derek Trucks’s tightly wound blue-tones, and Bill Frisell’s mystic, Jim Hall-inspired poetry–all meet Tyner on his own turf. Each string-bender is pushed to be his best in this setting.
**
It’s amazing that the concept of McCoy Tyner recording with a guitarist has never come up before. After all, the legendary piano man has done just about everything else, with and without former employer, saxophonist John Coltrane. Now we have Guitars, which mixes Tyner and a Hall of Fame rhythm section with a truly diverse group of string-driven all-stars. The result is an engrossing chronicle (both musical and visual) of the artist’s process.

In many respects, Guitars is a study in fearlessness. Other than the fact that they play stringed instruments, there is little that links the session’s five guest players, and this theoretically puts Tyner in a different creative space with each new arrival. Also, while some of the tracks are either written by Tyner or associated with him, all the music was suggested by Tyner’s guests. Again in theory, those conditions should give the guest artists the advantage in the session. Unfortunately for the guests, that theory falls to the ground in the face of Tyner’s aforementioned rhythm section—bassist Ron Carter and drummer Jack DeJohnette.

Going up against that trio is like finding yourself in a mixed martial arts match with Iron Man, The Thing, and The Incredible Hulk. And therein lays the fearlessness of the guests. Standing toe to toe with players whose names were burned into musical history long ago (in Derek Trucks’ case, before he was even born) has to have been an intoxicating proposition. And it has to be said that the session’s overall results are quite stunning, even though the guests—for the most part—become simple sidemen at Tyner’s party.

John Scofield—who can (and does) play anything without losing his tonal identity—slips into the trio’s musical space like a man donning a favorite jacket, ripping through delightfully aggressive takes on Coltrane’s “Mr. P.C.” and Tyner’s “Blues on the Corner.” On the other hand, Bill Frisell brings the session closer to his comfort zone on “Boubacar” and “Baba Drame,” two Frisell compositions from the meditative disc The Intercontinentals (Nonesuch, 2003). Both tunes have the hypnotic, Zen-like airiness of the original recordings, but Carter’s concrete foundation and DeJohnette’s ever-busy filling gives the latter tune heft and drama the original never had.

While Scofield and Frisell’s cuts are all about collaboration, Marc Ribot and Bela Fleck’s respective sections are more about domination. Ribot’s alt-jazz snarlings are the polar opposite of the straight-up bebop the trio lays down, which gives Tyner’s “Passion Dance” a wild, untamed atmosphere; but on “500 Miles,” Ribot’s snarl is reduced to a relative whimper, with the piece staying firmly in Tyner’s wheelhouse despite Ribot doing the arrangement. Surprisingly, Fleck comes out the worst of the five guests, even though two of his three pieces came from his pen. Despite Fleck’s ever-creative voicings, he is consistently plowed under by the three-headed juggernaut on the other side of the studio. And whatever possessed Fleck to attempt “My Favorite Things” using the waltzing arrangement associated with Coltrane’s transcendant recording? There’s no way anyone can win in that situation, and—put simply—Fleck doesn’t.

Trucks could have fallen into the same trap on “Greensleeves,” which features an arrangement similar to the one on Coltrane’s Africa/Brass (Impulse, 1961). What saves Trucks is Guitars’ quartet setting, leaving the musicians free to explore without the unwieldy horns producer Creed Taylor strapped to the original. Here’s where Guitars’ DVD shows the listener what might have been: during a rehearsal onstage at the Blue Note, Tyner and Fleck play “My Favorite Things” as a duet, giving the piece a more intimate, textured feel. Guitars already had Tyner playing three duets (two with Ribot, one with Frisell); if “Favorite” had also been recorded in duo form, both Fleck and the CD would have benefited.
By J. Hunter.
**
This recording is a studio throw-down with 5 of popular music’s most accomplished string specialists: Derek Trucks, Bela Fleck, Bill Frisell, John Scofield, and Marc Ribot. The song stack covers the old and new. McCoy finds common ground alongside …    Full Descriptiona group of handpicked guitar and banjo players. It’s a meeting of the generations. The DVD/CD set includes a DVD documenting the making of the CD replete with studio performances, chatter, and viewer options for what to see and where to look.

One of the most important and enduring jazz pianists emerging from the 1960s, McCoy Tyner needs little introduction. John Coltrane’s former sideman’s style has always mixed melody, beauty, invention, and volatility. GUITARS is proof he’s lost none of his edge. Here, Tyner mixes it up with a seemingly disparate range of guitarists (and one banjoist!), which might shock some old-school fans. Each guitarist joins Tyner’s trio for two or three tracks. Marc Ribot’s jazz-informed thorniness, John Scofield’s plump-toned élan, Bela Fleck’s down-home sophistication and clarity, Derek Trucks’s tightly wound blue-tones, and Bill Frisell’s mystic, Jim Hall-inspired poetry–all meet Tyner on his own turf. Each string-bender is pushed to be his best in this setting.
**
Guitars features piano legend McCoy Tyner in a series of aggressive and clamorous tracks with guitarists Marc Ribot, John Scofield, Derek Trucks, Bill Frisell, and banjoist Béla Fleck. The 70-year-old Tyner sounds as good as ever. His solos peer through the dense layers with innocent curiosity, climbing to intense peaks.

John Snyder, the producer of the album, suggests in his liner notes that in the presence of Tyner, a feeling of intimidation hovered above the otherwise fraternal collaboration. This could explain why tracks such as ‘Passion Dance” and “Mr. P.C,” which feature Marc Ribot and John Scofield, respectively, end up being so cacophonous; as if the jittery guitarists are trying too hard to prove themselves to a jazz giant.

More likely, however, the cause is that Tyner’s accompaniment isn’t tailored to best complement the guitar. Behind the solos of the guest artists, Tyner lays down a thick and constant foundation. A distinctive characteristic of his playing, this approach works well alongside saxophonists, but turns muddy alongside the guitar, whose timbre and attack is too similar to that of the piano.

The most pleasing tracks are either those farthest away from Tyner’s normal milieu, or the slower, airier pieces. “Slapback Blues,” featuring Derek Trucks, is a refreshing melding of Tyner’s solemn harmonies with Trucks’ lyrical blues-rock style.

Béla Fleck’s “Trade Winds” is equally successful. For one thing, the banjo’s metallic tone allows it to distinguish itself from the piano. Also, Fleck’s folksy composition draws a new playfulness out of Tyner, who reaches outside of his normal arsenal. The two improvised duets between Ribot and Tyner have the same effect, for they achieve moods that lie far from the other pieces on the album.

Guitars may have its flaws and inconsistencies, but overall it is an enjoyable CD. The musicians sound like they are having fun, despite the alleged feelings of intimidation. Not only does it feature McCoy Tyner at his best, but also some inspired solos of some of today’s top guitarists.
By Jacob Teichroew.
**
”I’ve never done anything like this before” McCoy Tyner recently said of his second album on McCoy Tyner Music/Half Note Records, a CD/DVD titled GUITARS. Along with a trio of Ron Carter and Jack DeJohnette, Tyner invited guitarists Bill Frisell, Derek Trucks, John Scofield, Marc Ribot, and banjoist Bela Fleck for the studio recording and DVD shoot, scheduled for a September 23 release. ”It was great, and each guy had his own concept and own sound which is very, very important on any instrument, ” said Tyner, ”You know, I look for that, the individual sound and concept. ”

Legendary producer John Snyder oversaw the project along with executive producers Jeff Levenson, VP of McCoy Tyner Muisc/Half Note Records, and Steve Bensusan, President of the Blue Note Jazz Club. Said Levenson, ”What impressed me about the project was how seamless the integration was. We have guys with disparate styles. You have guys who approach their instruments differently. The beauty of this project is how they all found common ground with McCoy. ”

The CD is accompanied by a state of the art DVD featuring songs with each special guest guitarist and bonus footage. The DVD has 3 hours of multiple-angle viewing capability. By clicking the ANGLE button on the remote or the player on a computer, one can watch the Editor s Cut on Angle 1, all four musicians at once with Angle 2 (4 quadrants), or isolate any of the musicians and watch them exclusively with Angles 3 through 6.

Tyner, who will turn 70 on December 11, is looking forward to the week-long celebration at the Blue Note in Manhattan that ends on his birthday. When asked about his recording future, Tyner thought for a time and spoke candidly. ”I think there is always something to do that you haven’t done exactly. There’s always that the idea of what else can I do, and something always comes up. No two days are the same. So we look forward to tomorrow cause that’s going to be different from yesterday and today. Hopefully it’s a good one! ”
**
McCoy Tyner- Piano
Ron Carter Bass
Jack DeJohnette Drums
Marc Ribot- Guitar (tracks 1, 2, 3 & 6)
John Scofield- Guitar (tracks 4 & 5)
Béla Fleck- Banjo (tracks 7, 8 & 9)
Derek Trucks- Guitar (tracks 10 & 11)
Bill Frisell- Guitar (tracks 12, 13 & 14)
**
01. Improvisation 2 (with Marc Ribot) 1:34
02. Passion Dance (with Marc Ribot) 6:10
03. 500 Miles (with Marc Ribot) 6:22
04. Mr. P.C. (with John Scofield) 6:21
05. Blues On The Corner (with John Scofield) 6:07
06. Improvisation 1 (with Marc Ribot) 3:46
07. Trade Winds (with Bela Fleck) 6:35
08. Amberjack (with Bela Fleck) 4:36
09. My Favorite Things (with Bela Fleck) 7:01
10. Slapback Blues (with Derek Trucks) 3:46
11. Greensleeves (with Derek Trucks) 6:15
12. Contemplation (with Bill Frisell) 7:55
13. Boubacar (with Bill Frisell) 2:18
14. Baba Drame (with Bill Frisell) 5:21
**

Continue reading