McCoy Tyner rose to prominence as a member of John Coltrane’s legendary quartet in the 1960’s, but he sustained a brilliant solo career in the decades that followed. Today’s song ‘Crescent’ ís by Coltrane, originally issued on the 1964 album with the same name, featuring McCoy Tyner. An almost hour-long(!) version of ‘Crescent’ would later appear on ’John Coltrane Live In Japan’.
Soliloquy. Hmm, as a non-native English speaker I had to look that one up. A soliloquy is when a character (in a play) relates his thoughts and feelings to himself and to the audience without addressing any of the other characters, and is delivered often when they are alone or think they are alone. It’s not the same as a monologue, because than you are talking to the other characters, for a longer time. And it’s not the same as an ‘aside’, which is the same as a soliloquy, only very short, basically just one comment.
Are you still with me?
The ‘to be or not to be‘ speech in ’Hamlet’ is wrongly considered the most famous soliloquy in the English language because it is in fact a monologue delivered to Ophelia and to the spying Polonius and King Claudius. Juliet’s “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” is a good example of a Shakespearean soliloquy (although Juliet’s speech is overheard by Romeo, she thinks that she is alone with her thoughts when she delivers it, which is in the essence of a soliloquy).
The album ‘Soliloquy’ was recorded at the Merkin Hall, New York from February 19th to February 21st, 1991.
The Keepnews Collection is a series of reissues of classic Riverside jazz albums. Mr. Keepnews was the co-founder and producer of Riverside Records and tells great anecdotes from that time. Every episode is a different album.
Today’s feature: McCoy Tyner with ‘Horizon’
You might also want to check out my previous posts about these series:
Alfred McCoy Tyner’s (1938) first exposure to the main public was in the famous Jazztet, with Benny Golson and Art Farmer. After that, he joined John Coltrane’s group in 1960. This famous Coltrane Quartet (consisting of Coltrane on tenor sax, Jimmy Garrison on bass, Elvin Jones on drums and Tyner on piano) toured almost non-stop between 1961 and 1965 and recorded a number of classic albums, including ‘Live At The Village Vanguard’, ‘Ballads’, ‘Crescent’ and ‘A Love Supreme’.
His involvement with John Coltrane came to an end in 1965. Coltrane’s music was becoming much more atonal and free and Tyner was somewhat bitter about the change in Coltrane’s direction. “I didn’t see myself making any contribution to that music. All I could hear was a lot of noise. I didn’t have any feeling for the music, and when I don’t have feelings, I don’t play.”
‘The Real McCoy’ was Tyner’s first release on Blue Note, in 1967. Although Coltrane’s influence can be heard throughout the album, especially in the sinuous, modal approach and in Henderson’s ambitious solos, it’s Tyner’s powerful playing, wholly his own, that steals the show.
McCoy Tyner - Piano Joe Henderson - Tenor Saxophone Ron Carter - Bass Elvin Jones - Drums
Last week, julianat became my 300th follower, and she requested a little something by John Coltrane. Well, here it is and I hope you’ll/she’ll enjoy it.
This, along with the earlier mentioned ’Getz Au Go Go’, was one of the first jazz records I became accustomed to. I know it by heart, and it is one of my dearest records. Intentionally I wanted to play the title song ‘Olé’, but due to upload restrictions (max. 10MB) it wasn’t possible. It doesn’t matter really, all the songs on this album are great. I strongly advise everyone to get it.
Following his classic releases ‘Giant Steps’, My Favourite Things’ and ‘Coltrane Plays The Blues’ in the Coltrane catalog, ’Olé Coltrane’ was Coltrane’s final recording for Atlantic before moving to the Impulse! label. Perhaps that is why this album seems to be one of his most overlooked recordings. ‘Olé Coltrane’ was recorded on May 25th, 1961, in between the two sessions that formed the Impulse! release ‘Africa/Brass’.
‘Dahomey Dance’ is a more traditional sounding blues, with Coltrane switching to tenor sax. If not for the double-bass frontline and Dolphy’s unconventional solo, this song could easily be mistaken for a missing gem from Miles’ ’Kind Of Blue’ sessions.
John Coltrane – Tenor Saxophone Eric Dolphy – Alto Saxophone Freddie Hubbard – Trumpet McCoy Tyner – Piano Art Davis – Bass Elvin Jones – Drums