Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!


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 Ostrava Days 2017 Live Reviews Ostrava Days 2017
by Martin Longley
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Diane Schuur at Birdland Live Reviews Diane Schuur at Birdland
by Tyran Grillo
Published: November 20, 2017
Read Pat Metheny at Belfast Waterfront Live Reviews Pat Metheny at Belfast Waterfront
by Ian Patterson
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Crosscurrents at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor Live Reviews Crosscurrents at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: November 15, 2017
Read "John Handy Tribute At SFJAZZ" Live Reviews John Handy Tribute At SFJAZZ
by Walter Atkins
Published: January 30, 2017
Read "Soule Indomitable at Nectar's" Live Reviews Soule Indomitable at Nectar's
by Doug Collette
Published: April 2, 2017
Read "12 Points Festival 2017" Live Reviews 12 Points Festival 2017
by Henning Bolte
Published: August 6, 2017
Read "Gary Peacock Trio at Jazz Standard" Live Reviews Gary Peacock Trio at Jazz Standard
by Tyran Grillo
Published: November 9, 2017
Read "Karl Denson's Tiny Universe at Levitt Pavilion" Live Reviews Karl Denson's Tiny Universe at Levitt Pavilion
by Geoff Anderson
Published: September 1, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor