Thursday, November 17, 2011

McCoy Tyner 1959 & 60

Playlist and notes for the BurningDervish.com Podcast episode
"McCoy Tyner 1959 & 60"

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This episode, the first in a series focusing on the piano great, is inspired by my love and admiration for his work as a sideman and leader over the last 50+ years. The songs chosen here are adapted from a playlist I originally created for the website AllAboutJazz.com.
  1. Kachin, Curtis Fuller, Imagination. This one is of special interest as the 1959 release marks the first documented commercial issue featuring McCoy Tyner. It would be a few more years, and some time on the bench with his mentor Coltrane, before McCoy's signature left hand sound would develop, but his lightning right hand was already in full effect....
  2. Killer Joe, Art Farmer and Benny Golson, Meet the Jazztet
  3. Be Back Ta Reck-la, Curtis Fuller, Images of Curtis Fuller. Solid line-up, lovely engineering and production, strong hard bop writing and arranging from bandleader and trombonist Curtis Fuller.
  4. Open Sesame, Freddie Hubbard, Open Sesame. Freddie Hubbard's inaugural record as a leader is also the first in series of stellar, stellar records he put on on Blue Note in the '60s
  5. Excursion, Julian Priester, Spiritsville. Priester was a trombone player. In fact, he's on Coltrane's Impulse debut, Africa Brass. In the manner of Curtis Fuller he does some great work on this record as a lead. Between those two I've come to enjoy trombone far more than I ever have...Of the records McCoy Tyner played on leading up to this one, none foreshadowed exactly where his tone and style were going as much as this. Dig his solo work on 'Excursion'. You'll hear it.
  6. One and Four (aka Mr. Day), John Coltrane, Like Sonny. The first three tracks on this record (of which this is one) are the first commercially available cuts of a Coltrane band with McCoy Tyner on the bench. These dates, for Roulette, are from September 1960, about one month before the group's first sessions for Atlantic.
  7. Village Blues, John Coltrane, Coltrane Jazz. These recordings are the first that came out in Coltrane's lifetime to feature the initial versions of his classic quarter: Trane, Paul Chambers, Tyner and Elvin Jones. There were other line-ups on individual tracks but it is "Village Blues", with Tyner, Jones and bassist Steve Davis that stands out.
  8. Summertime, John Coltrane, My Favorite Things. Gallons of ink have been spilled extolling the importance of this record in the evolution of Coltrane's career and the development of modal jazz. It's melodic, accessible nature makes it one of the most popular post-bop records and many people's introduction to both Coltrane and modern jazz.
If you like what you heard, please remember to support the artists. Tyner is still out there gigging across the globe, so buy his music and better yet, go see him live. Until next time…Peace.

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