Jazz CD of the week: McCoy Tyner, Illuminations

Jazz CD of the week: McCoy Tyner, Illuminations

McCoy Tyner
Illuminations
(Telarc 83599)
Tyner is perhaps the most imitated pianist in contemporary jazz, but one quality sets him apart from most of his devotees, and that is the endless variety of mood, texture and even style that he can command. That's why a new Tyner release is always something to look forward to; it's bound to contain a few surprises. The big one this time comes in the form of a wild, joyous affair entitled 'New Orleans Stomp', set over a typical, strutting New Orleans rhythm. It's not the kind of thing one associates with him, but he brings it off triumphantly. His quintet is an all-star affair, with trumpeter Terence Blanchard, saxophonist Gary Bartz, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Lewis Nash, but it is by no means a parade of all-star egos. Tyner's touch as an arranger and bandleader is light but firm, and the ensemble passages are among the main delights. Nevertheless, Blanchard plays with such fire and assurance that his solos stand out, even in this company.

Dave Gelly

The GuardianTramp

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