McCoy Tyner Quartet / Stanley Clarke Quartet Featuring Hiromi

Ernest Barteldes By

Sign in to view read count
McCoy Tyner Quarter / Stanley Clarke Band Featuring Hiromi
CareFusion Jazz Festival, Central Park Summerstage
New York, NY
June 23, 2010

Contrary to what had been announced, pianist McCoy Tyner's all-star Quartet took to the stage with a very syncopated number, led by tenor saxophonist Ravi Coltrane. Bassist Esperanza Spalding followed his grooves with clever arpeggios, while drummer Francisco Mela accented his notes with incredible precision. The tune had a bit of a Latin vibe, which got Spalding into a certain comfort zone that allowed her to find her own place and develop from there.

It was clear from the outset that many fans were there for Spalding, and Tyner responded to that by giving her a lot of space. The fact that Coltrane seemed to have had some problems with his axe might have contributed to this (as the saxophonist took very few solos), but Spalding had a lot of space to exercise her prowess, to the delight of the fans, who loudly cheered her lengthy solos. Tyner had a number of solo instrumental interludes between numbers, and many inspiring solos, but it was clearly Spalding's night, and she took advantage of that by leaning back and forth as she found her voice within each tune—including a twelve-bar blues that closed a set that seemed to all too short.

After a short break, bassist Stanley Clarke took the stage with the same that played on his latest release, Stanley Clarke Band (Telarc, 2010). He looked extremely serious as he played the first number on electric bass, and when a fan screamed "School Days," he sternly turned and responded with a clear "no."

Throughout the first number, he seemed to feed from pianist Hiromi Uehara}, who frantically jumped and smiled as if becoming one with the piano. Clarke cheered her on with subtle notes, with drummer Ronald Bruner, Jr. picking up on them and adding improvised accents that made the audience feel as if they were at a rock concert. But then the pulse changed back to a simpler groove that reminded everyone what was going on: pure, spontaneous improvisation.

Clarke then turned to his upright, which he used for the remainder of the set, for Return to Forever's "No Mystery," where technical problems resulted in keyboardist Ruslan Sirota bravely taking over the bass line halfway through Uehara's solo. Clarke sat there in frustration for a while, but once the issue was resolved he returned to his usual self, adding clever notes to his lines as the tune continued.

One of the highlights from Clarke's set was a more electrified version of "Paradigm Shift," from Jazz In The Garden (Heads Up, 2009). In this new take, Clarke played the upright like an electric bass, which gave space for both Uehara and Sirota to exercise their individualities. He also paid tribute to the late Joe Henderson with a stirring take on the saxophonist's "Black Narcissus," which Clarke described as a "great masterpiece."

It was a stunning evening of great talent that deserved to be recorded for posterity.

Visit McCoy Tyner and Stanley Clarke on the web.


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Newport Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Newport Jazz Festival 2017
by Timothy J. O'Keefe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read FORQ at The World Cafe Live Live Reviews FORQ at The World Cafe Live
by Mike Jacobs
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Mat Maneri and Tanya Kalmanovitch at Korzo Live Reviews Mat Maneri and Tanya Kalmanovitch at Korzo
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Kongsberg Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Kongsberg Jazz Festival 2017
by Henning Bolte
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Arturo Sandoval At Yoshi's Oakland Live Reviews Arturo Sandoval At Yoshi's Oakland
by Walter Atkins
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Jazz em Agosto 2017 Live Reviews Jazz em Agosto 2017
by Mike Chamberlain
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "Rigas Ritmi 2017" Live Reviews Rigas Ritmi 2017
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: July 12, 2017
Read "Hermeto Pascoal at SFJAZZ" Live Reviews Hermeto Pascoal at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "Jim Beard And Jon Herington At The Kennett Flash" Live Reviews Jim Beard And Jon Herington At The Kennett Flash
by Mike Jacobs
Published: June 29, 2017
Read "Internationales Jazz Festival Münster 2017" Live Reviews Internationales Jazz Festival Münster 2017
by Henning Bolte
Published: January 26, 2017


Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.