CD: McCoy Tyner, Tender Moments

(Blue Note)

This is McCoy Tyner in the Blue Note studios five months after his boss of the previous six years, John Coltrane, had died. Tyner had made albums under his name during the Coltrane period, but this set for a bigger Tyner band, including the tenor saxist Bennie Maupin and trumpeter Lee Morgan represents a more radical break from the more orthodox piano trio or sax-led quartet jazz the pianist had fitfully explored since 1963.

All six compositions are Tyner's, and establish the pattern that was to become familiar for him in the next decade - a fondness for repeating ostinatos, short, hooky themes, interleaving of melodic fragments across the lineup. Tyner's characteristic hot piano flow weaves through some powerfully eloquent ensemble writing, the solos are uniformly good, and if the themes here didn't last in Tyner's compositional canon, they have a fiery and aggressive energy that prefigures the incantatory, ritual-rooted music that later made him a star.


John Fordham

The GuardianTramp

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