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As he approaches 60, McCoy Tyner continues to be one of jazz's greatest living pianists. But it's a different kind of greatness from the McCoy of the 1960s and 1970swho was (generally speaking) a more radical and risk-taking player than the standards-oriented and less adventurous (though still highly enjoyable) Tyner of today. Recorded in 1978 and newly reissued on CD, Together is a modal-oriented gem boasting an all-star cast of Freddie Hubbard (trumpet, flugelhorn), Bennie Maupin (tenor sax, bass clarinet), Hubert Laws (flute), Bobby Hutcherson (vibes, marimba), Stanley Clarke (acoustic bass) and Bill Summers (percussion). From Tyner's haunting "Ballad For Aisha" to Hubbard's explosive "One Of Another Kind" and Hutch's intriguing "Highway One," this album reminds us how harmonically captivating modal playing can be and shows how much healthier the jazz climate of the 1970s was. Sure, most aging, dried-up jazz critics would have us believe that jazz was a wasteland back thenbut Together points to the fact that 1970s jazz was so much more interesting than the staid, predictable "museum jazz" of the 1990s.
Reprinted with the permission of Myrna Daniels and L.A. Jazz Scene , the largest jazz publication in Southern California.