Monday, May 12, 2008

McCoy Tyner - Echoes of a Friend

From All Music Guide:
"An obvious classic, this piano solo record...features McCoy Tyner paying tribute to John Coltrane. Tyner not only plays three of Coltrane's songs ("Naima," "Promise," and "My Favorite Things") but two of his originals (a lengthy "The Discovery" and "Folks") which display how much the pianist had grown since leaving the saxophonist's group in late 1965. Few McCoy Tyner records are not easily recommended but this one even ranks above most."
And from Ground and Sky:
"McCoy Tyner and Keith Jarrett were among the forebears of the "not quite jazz/not quite anything else" style of solo piano recitals often played today by a number of younger artists (Brad Meldhau, for instance). Tyner stayed closer to his jazz roots than did Jarrett, however, and on his first solo piano album, Echoes of a Friend, Tyner looks back to his former bandmate John Coltrane for inspiration...Overall, I think that the music is excellent. Tyner's style is reminiscent of what he had been moving toward over the previous few years and which came to fruition on his most recent albums, Sahara and Song For My Lady. Without a band behind him, Tyner wisely eases back somewhat on the unwavering aggression that had imbued his playing for stretches on those albums. There is still plenty of muscle and power on Echoes of a Friend, yet his playing is also romantic and orchestral. His performances provide a very interesting perspective on the Coltrane material — the familliar melodies are often lost amid effusive virtuostic passages, yet despite the modernist treatment there is always a tenderness that breathes within Tyner's playing as well as a spirit that infuses it..."
Today I would like to post two representative tracks from this record:

My Favorite Things
and The Discovery, from McCoy Tyner's Echoes of a Friend