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One cannot think of McCoy Tyner and not recall John Coltrane’s classic quartet. Tyner’s massive expression on the ivories was the equivalent of John Coltrane’s efforts to blow the jazz world wide open. For the past forty years his playing has been the model for most modern jazz piano. Of late, he has worked in a big band setting with his Latin All-Stars, covered the music of Bert Bacharach, and sat in on Michael Brecker’s recordings. His latest, a trio recording, finds the great man in a very understated mindset. And who would have figured reading the lineup which includes fellow Philadelphian Stanley Clarke. Clarke hasn’t ventured into the jazz world in the last twenty years. He is best known for his fusion work with Chick Corea -Return To Forever, George Duke and R&B/Funk records like School days. Maybe that explains why Tyner understates things; because given the chance things could get way out of hand, musically. Add to the mix the quintessential swinging session drummer Al Foster. He has been the engine on many a band including extended stints with Miles Davis, Joe Henderson and Sonny Rollins. Don’t get me wrong, this album swings from the opener, a tribute to John Coltrane. Clarke keeps his thwapping bass under wraps except for one of two versions of “I Want To Tell You ‘Bout That.” Listening to the two versions side-by-side will define you as a jazz fan. Prefer the electric and you probably can find jazz you like on the radio midday. Acoustic fans, old school, at least have the rest of this record to enjoy.
Track List:Trane-Like; Once Upon A Time; Never Let Me Go; I Want To Tell You About That; Will You Still Be Mine; Goin’ ‘Way Blues; In The Tradition Of; The Night Has A Thousand Eyes; Carriba; Memories; I Want To Tell You About That.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.