McCoy Tyner, piano; Gary Bartz, saxophone, Terence Blanchard, trumpet; Christian McBride, bass; Lewis Nash, drums
The masterful McCoy Tyner offers up a mixture of originals and standards; the first three tracks are from his own pen. It is soon noticeable that he is not one to muscle the limelight, allowing the other band members plenty of space. The lively opening track, "Illuminations," gets everyone into the groove. Moving on to "Angelina" we hear the Latin feel to this uplifting piece, then its into a hot, swinging "New Orleans Stomp," with Blanchard playing a wide, mean trumpet solo. This is an elegant group; their playing is light, and obviously sympathetic; their solo changeovers are as smooth as the finest baton change among relay runners. Harold Arlen's "Come Rain or Come Shine," played as a trio number, has Tyner indulging a little, McBride takes over with a delicate little foray, and Tyner makes the link into Nash's drum solo. "Soulstice", penned by Bartz, keeps the pulse-rate up and features saxophone and trumpet; "Blessings" is trumpeter Blanchard's offering. The fast and fulsome piano of Tyner in the "The Chase" is followed by "West Philly Tone Poem," a reflective piece with a bowed bass fusing with the piano in a lyrical and gentle interpretation. A strong and fine Jazz CD.
by Ferdinand Maylin
Jazz Now Interactive November 2004 Vol 14 No. 7 - Table of Contents
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