From the first few notes you know you're going to love this live recording by McCoy Tyner. With a bass line borrowed from John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme (Impulse!, 1964), the quartet doesn't exactly mimic the Coltrane era as much as take inspiration from its legacy. And of course that legacy included Tyner some forty years ago as he, Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison were the rhythm section for the most creative jazz artist ever to advance this music.
While Coltrane left this planet in 1967, McCoy Tyner has maintained his expansive presence. The expressions of "a ringing sound" and "lively keyboard" have never been overstated as a description of Tyner's playing. He commands the 88s with total control.
Joining him is the current tenor saxophone king, Joe Lovano. Fully versed in the Coltrane legacy, he is a marvelous counter to Tyner's energy. Likewise, the muscular drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts and the groove master Christian McBride don't back down from the full throttle music-making heard here.
The crowd at Yoshi's in Oakland, California, in December 2006, show their appreciation for the music. When the band isn't in full flight they can be quite charming, as on the gentle ballad "Search For Peace," that features Lovano's graceful tones. But even when Tyner is playing behind another musician, he makes his presence felt. The quartet takes great pleasure in covering Tyner's "Blues on the Corner," from his 1967 Blue Note album The Real McCoy. The bucket spins a few greasy guts and the blues is on full display.
The disc ends with Tyner's solo take on the classic "For All We Know," rife with his deep ebullience and exhilaration. He certainly rings ever drop of energy out of his piano and his band mates.
Walk Spirit, Talk Spirit; Mellow Minor; Sama Layuca; Passion Dance; Search for Peace; Blues on the Corner; For All We Know.
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