Tuesday, October 21, 2008

McCoy Tyner: The Greeting

From All About Jazz:
"This is a rather welcome addition to McCoy Tyner's reissue catalog on compact disc...this live date featuring his sextet from the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco (1978) is definitely one of the more worthwhile Milestone Tyners...George Adams is on board here, and for some that may be enough to convince that this is probably worth checking out. Indeed, Adams' playing here is fiery and intense, and on "Fly With The Wind" (a Tyner staple that gained most notoriety through its big band manifestation), Adams takes a solo that is remarkable for its reconciling of a purely soulful quality to the modal dogma of Tyner's music...McCoy Tyner is hardly a soulless musician, and on his solo feature of Naima, he shows the penchant for romanticism and lyrical sensitivity that he was to make his name on in solo recordings of later years. This is a relatively brief edition of Naima...but it exudes a certain understatement that is rather unique in comparison to other examples. Certainly, Naima was a tune that McCoy took to as much as his former boss John Coltrane (composer) had in his career...The most beautiful and striking piece on this record is the opening track, “Hand in Hand.” Built on a very simple melody...this involves little soloing outside of a hand percussion intro but is a very emotionally engaging piece...the same melody is repeated, over and over again, but layers of instruments- including the human voice, are added, and the timbre of the ensemble sound becomes increasingly complex. Moreover, as the music develops an emotional quality of deep assuredness and unity amongst the parts becomes tangible. There’s clearly something to be said for melodic persistance in this case...The writing is where the whole Tyner “sound” begins and sets the tone for everything that follows. It’s epic themes followed by solos that attempt to soar into the stratosphere. The Coltrane quartet wrote the book on this, and McCoy Tyner spent a good part of his career thereafter in dialogue with what had already been said...The music here is vital and it breathes...Moreover, if one is only familiar with McCoy from his Blue Notes or early Impulse sides, McCoy's Milestone era is certainly not to be overlooked and this record offers as good an introduction to it as any. If nothing else, McCoy's 70s output offers an important glimpse into the state of the music post-Coltrane...this music had a definite resonance in the 1970s and the resonance was largely owed to, it would seem, the inspiration of one John Coltrane."

Three versions of The Greeting by McCoy Tyner, from The Greeting, from Supertrios and from Counterpoints: Live In Tokyo