Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tyner's "Solo" full of warmth and depth

McCoy Tyner - "Solo; Live from San Fransicsco"
Half Note Records
-out today
4.5 / 5

With a legendary career like pianist McCoy Tyner's, there is always the nagging comparison between his latest release and his classic '60s and '70s albums. To clarify: yes, he is in his 70s, and yes, this album may not be as classic as "The Real McCoy." But is it worthwhile? Yes. Here's why: even in his advanced years, and even with a slightly lacking a bit of touch on his fingers, the solo work here is marvelous, deep, complex, intimate. It is as easy for a person inexperienced in jazz to get into as it is for an afficionado of his other work to enjoy. And that is the key word here, "enjoy." There is maturity and depth, but there is also a profound understated joy in his playing, whether it be in dense retake of Coltrane's famous "Lazy Bird," the lush "African Village", or his delicate "Naima," also a standard of Coltrane's. A worthy work in a worthy career. Recommended.

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