Monday, February 16, 2009

McCoy Tyner - Double Trios aka The Quartets

When originally issued by Denon in 1986, this record was called, Double Trios. It is a very unique release in McCoy's diverse catalog...first of all, it has been out of print for ages (and commands quite a premium on the secondary market); second, when it was reissued as a digital-only release last year by LRC Ltd., the title was changed to The Quartets; but the music itself is important as this album features some of the only recorded instances of McCoy using an electric keyboard (and quite ably...).

From All Music:
"This little-known CD features the masterful pianist McCoy Tyner with two different trios: his regular group of the period (which includes bassist Avery Sharpe and drummer Louis Hayes) and a unit with electric bassist Marcus Miller and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts. Percussionist Steve Thornton pops up with both groups. In addition to three Tyner originals and Miller's "Sudan," it is particularly interesting to hear the pianist's reworkings of "Lil' Darlin'," "Satin Doll," "Lover Man" and Thelonious Monk's "Rhythm-A-Ning," transforming them into modal masterpieces."
"Sudan" is the killer, with tremendous electric piano work by McCoy over a heavy drum and bass figure...and a final observation:

The sound of this record is incredible. Denon did a masterful job recording it, for sure, but the copy here is from the re-issue. I can't help but wonder if it were remastered for digital release or if MP3s can really sound this good...

Here is some sessionography on the release:

Date: June 7, 1986.
Place: Clinton Studio, New York, NY.
Musicians: McCoy Tyner piano, Avery Sharpe bass, Louis Hayes drums, Steve Thornton per.
Tracks: Latino Suite, Lil’ Darlin’, Dreamer, Satin Doll

Date: June 09, 1986.
Place: Clinton Studio, New York, NY.
Musicians: McCoy Tyner piano, Marcus Miller bass, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts drums, Steve Thornton per.
Tracks: Down Home, Sudan, Lover Man, Rhythm-a-Ning

Download:
McCoy Tyner - Double Trios aka The Quartets