McCoy Tyner forged his sound as a leader on the amazing session with Joe Henderson, Ron Carter and Coltrane bandmate Elvin Jones. All five distinctive compositions have become jazz standards. A perfect record and an essent... more »ial one too.« less
McCoy Tyner forged his sound as a leader on the amazing session with Joe Henderson, Ron Carter and Coltrane bandmate Elvin Jones. All five distinctive compositions have become jazz standards. A perfect record and an essential one too.
"It's Coltrane's rhythm section with Joe Henderson! But Ron Carter on bass gives it some different directions. Great playing, great tunes, great Van Gelder sound - it doesn't get better than this."
Christopher Calabrese | Watertown, CT, USA | 07/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've got three names for you: McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, and Ron Carter. Just going by those names alone, you already know this is required listening, especially if you're a fan of early 60's Coltrane. What we have here is the two members of Coltrane's quartet that did not continue into his avant-garde reordings - McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones. They were replaced by Alice Coltrane and Rashied Ali, respectively. Add Ron Carter and Joe Henderson on tenor sax, and we have some of the most technical modal acoustic jazz this side of "Giant Steps".
While Henderson is a few giant steps below Trane on the talent-scale (who isn't?), this is a McCoy Tyner record, and the main focus is his signature piano playing, circa "Live at Birdland". Carter and Jones are on fire throughout polyrhythmic barn-burners like "Passion Dance" and "Four By Five". The music was by no means 'ground-breaking' in the context of the time in which it was recorded. On the other hand, it's 60's modal jazz at its best. Tyner and the boys also show their versatility in being able to lay back on smoother tracks like "Search For Peace" and "Contemplation". I also prefer Ron Carter to Jimmy Garrison and find him to be a much more observant match for Jones's wild drum skills. This is definitely a must-have for Coltrane fans.
This was the first of a handful of Blue Note recordings by Tyner, but I consider this to be his finest hour. Another impressive release during the same time period was 1970's "Extensions", also on Blue Note, featuring Tyner, Alice Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Gary Bartz (alto sax), Ron Carter, and Elvin Jones."
Coltrane without the Coltrane
Eric C. Sedensky | Madison, AL, US | 06/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Let me start at the end: I love this CD and I think every jazz enthusiast would enjoy it. The long and short of it is, you've got the same band that made John Coltrane famous by backing him for many, many years, helping him to build a reputation that survives to this day, and for the members of this band, giving them an opportunity to stretch out and grow after the Coltrane band called it quits. This CD is one of the fruits of that relationship. Tyner keeps the quartet together, with the more-than-respectable Joe Henderson taking over the sax. What you end up with is some solid jazz that, while it lacks the Coltrane punch, also lacks the Coltrane esoterica and mindless wanderings he became known for at the advent of the avant-garde era. For me, this is better, because, as much as I like Coltrane, I like Tyner more and I appreciate that McCoy has more of an opportunity to shine and show what he is really made of. Ron Carter and Elvin Jones lend their usual steady, relentless, swinging rhythm to the five tracks, including the classic standards Passion Dance and Four by Five. And as I've already said, Henderson does a more than admirable job with the sax, bopping right along and sizzling when it's his turn to sizzle. So, this CD is a high recommendation for anyone who likes Tyner, Coltrane, jazz piano, or classic quartet jazz. Go for it, you won't regret it!"
McCoy's classic Blue Note date
Dennis W. Wong | 09/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was pianist McCoy Tyner's first session for Blue Note after the passing of John Coltrane and it turned out to be a classic. Just about every one of the tunes on this disc are now jazz standards like "Passion Dance", "Search for Peace", "Contemplation" and "Blues on the Corner". McCoy is backed up by his Coltrane teammate, Elvin Jones and bassist Ron Carter. Joe Henderson provided a fine foil for Tyner so much so that they create an empathy akin to what McCoy had with 'Trane. The same group would reunite for another session on the Telarc label years later but unfortunately lightening doesn't strike twice. This date belongs to other classic studio sessions like "Everybody Digs Bill Evans", "Now He Sings, Now He Sobs", "Giant Steps" and "Newk's Time" where everything falls perfectly in place. Recommended for all McCoy fans and jazz progressives!! One more thing try and get the original issue of this since the RVG version sounds thin and offers very little separation!!"
Not for dinner parties!
General Martok | Ann Arbor | 02/06/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Actually a couple of the slower tunes would be fine around smooth jazz fans and wives/girlfriends. The rest are excellently written songs with an edge, all featuring memorable melodies, excellent solos, and fantastic comping and rhythms.
McCoy Tyner composed all of the songs, and just as on another of his stellar Blue Note albums, Time for Tyner, the songs are so memorable that you will find yourself immediately immersed in them, even on the first listen as if you'd heard them many times before. I can guarantee you'll find yourself humming the melodies the rest of the day after each listen. But as I mentioned, the faster songs are hard-edged and may be too much for the casual fan. Joe Henderson is in top form, ripping away at the tenor Sax and Elvin Jones and Ron Carter play an intense drumkit and bass. Jones does great work, with the spontaneous fills you would expect from a master that add perfect flair to each song without going so far as to steal the show, except of course during his solos. And Tyner is fantastic on the piano. I can't quite think of anyone who can play with such a combination of beauty and rapid technical skill. He has a style all his own, and if you are unfamiliar with him consider yourself lucky in that you can purchase this album and will be privileged to hear him for the first time surrounded by such excellent company.
If you are familiar with Coltrane's classic quintet, then you know what to expect from the quality of the piano playing and drumming. If not, Tyner and Jones were the backbone of Coltrane's career after he left Miles Davis' band. I daresay they are never better than what you will hear on this album. Joe Henderson fits in amazingly well with the group. In fact, (gasp!) I probably listen to this disc more than any of the Coltrane records featuring much of the same band. Henderson has a way of working through a solo that keeps me listening attentively more than just about any other tenor sax player. No doubt we all have our favorite sax players, and for me Joe is the one whose playing speaks to me the most.
Since I've mentioned that this album is hard edged, I'll try a bit better to quantify that. It's not in the realm of the harder tunes on Coltrane's Sun Ship or the Miles Davis electric stuff from the late '60s and early '70s, but it's probably somewhat comparable to Art Blakey's Free for All. Just a step further than many casual fans are comfortable going, but not so far that most couldn't stretch to appreciate.
If you purchase this album and find it enjoyable, I also recommend the following -