Wednesday, August 22, 2007

McCoy Tyner: Today and Tomorrow

Originally released in June 1963, Today and Tomorrow is the mid-point release in his first years as a solo artist, the half-way mark in his set of recordings for the Impulse! label.

While an imperfect record, Today and Tomorrow represents an early peak in McCoy's long solo career - and the first to give a serious hint of the type of pianist and composer he would become over the next 10 - 15 years....

There are two different line-ups featured on this record. The first is a stellar sextet featuring Thad Jones on trumpet, Frank Strozier on alto, Sun Ra's John Gilmore on tenor, Butch Warren on bass, Elvin Jones on drums and of course McCoy on the piano bench. The second is a trio made up of McCoy, bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath.

The six tracks with the trio are mostly standards (with the exception of the McCoy original Flapstick Blues, included below), with lovely takes on A Night and Tunisia and Autumn Leaves leading the way but it is the sextet's versions of two McCoy originals, featured below, that are the album's highlights.

McCoy Tyner from Today and Tomorrow:
sextet: Contemporary Focus and Three Flowers;
trio: Flapstick Blues