Monday, March 02, 2009

McCoy Tyner - Guitars

I decided to wait for a bit before posting about this record. It came out last fall, but I wanted to sit with it for a while. Having just seen McCoy the other night, I figured it was time...

Actually, I caught one of the shows in support of this record. Two, if you count the early and late sets separately (and the Blue Note does, two covers and table minimums!)...I made sure I caught the night with Marc Ribot, one of my other favorite musicians and whose contributions form the highlight of this album. Here is who plays on what:

McCoy on piano, Ron Carter on bass and Jack DeJohnette drums, all tracks.

1. Improvisation 2
2. Passion Dance
3. 500 Miles
4. Mr. P.C.
5. Blues On The Corner
6. Improvisation 1
7. Trade Winds
8. Amberjack
9. My Favorite Things
10. Slapback Blues
11. Greensleeves
12. Contemplation
13. Boubacar
14. Baba Drame

Marc Ribot: guitar (1, 2, 3, 6);
John Scofield: guitar (4, 5);
Bela Fleck: banjo (7, 8, 9);
Derek Trucks: guitar (10, 11);
Bill Frisell: guitar (12, 13, 14).

The Bela Fleck tracks are unspectacular. The Scofield tracks are good. The Frisell and Trucks tracks have some moments. The Ribot tracks scorch. Their take on McCoy's "Passion Dance" sounds like it was recorded on an early run-through. Bum notes and all - it is pure feel - a romp...worth list price alone...In their review, All About Jazz described the take as "...a stunning tour-de-force that spotlights Ribot's knotty cadences as they uncoil through abstruse rhythms and vertiginous harmonies.". Right on.

I don't have the "making of" DVD that accompanied the physical release, though I have seen parts on YouTube. Again, I'll take Ribot...

This record holds up, though. You're ears will perk up when you hear Trucks' licks on "Greensleeves" or Frisell on "Contemplation" but McCoy and Ribot together will grab you by the collar and shake...

McCoy Tyner - Guitars