Thursday, October 30, 2008

McCoy Tyner - Boston, MA - 1973-12-11

Now here's an interesting gig...

First of all, it was McCoy's 35th birthday, a fact noted in the MC's intro at the beginning of the recording...

Second, the show took place at something of an "important" venue for jazz in Boston and greater New England, Paul's Mall. Here is a great (fairly) recent profile of the proprietor.

Third, the music itself. It is very difficult to over dramatize how crucial McCoy Tyner was to jazz in the 70s. For my money, McCoy was the standard and torch-bearer for modal post-bop. He managed to eschew electric fusion (his genre bending focused on experimenting with group configurations and instrumentation, though later on he developed quite a prediliction for Latin sounds...). This show came at the tail end of his Enlightenment work and immediately prior to the recording of Sama Layuca, his two masterpieces of spiritual jazz.

The line-up for this show (which was broadcast on Boston's WBCN, thus this recording) blends the personnel from those two records with Billy Hart on drums, Alex Blake on bass and the mighty Azar Lawrence on soprano and tenor.

McCoy Tyner Quartet - Pauls Mall, Boston, MA, 12/11/73 WBCN FM Broadcast