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Afro Blue

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Album Review

McCoy Tyner recorded five albums for Telarc, beginning with 1999's McCoy Tyner & the Latin All-Stars and ending with 2004's Illuminations. While no one would ever argue that these were the high points of a career that reaches back half-a-century and includes a legendary stint with John Coltrane, the Telarc recordings were all solid affairs and Tyner's genius was still quite evident throughout. Afro Blue is an eight-song compendium that draws material from all five of those releases, providing a neat summation of Tyner's output for the label. Never one to rest on his laurels, Tyner continued to push forward at a time in his life when he could easily have coasted. The 12-and-a-half-minute title track, from the Latin set, sports an easy groove within which tidy but inventive solos from pianist Tyner and flutist Dave Valentin are propelled by an insistent battery of percussion. "If I Were a Bell," the Frank Loesser standard, is a showcase for the always intoxicating vibes of Bobby Hutcherson, and the rhythm section of Stanley Clarke on bass and Al Foster on drums kicks "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" into high gear and keeps it there. George Gershwin's "Summertime," a song so overdone it never needs to be done again, nonetheless finds new life in Tyner's solo reading. Afro Blue is hardly essential Tyner, but as a sampler of this period of his work, it's representative and highly enjoyable.

Customer Reviews

McCoy Tyner Afro Blue

Another brilliant offering from jazz genius McCoy Tyner... a musical delight, definitely a must for your collection. I bought it for his version of Blue Bossa with Kenny Dorham (Top tune) but love every single track - I found treasure again when I bought this album.
Susie Jazz


Born: 11 December 1938 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

It is to McCoy Tyner's great credit that his career after John Coltrane has been far from anti-climatic. Along with Bill Evans, Tyner has been the most influential pianist in jazz of the past 50 years, with his chord voicings being adopted and utilized by virtually every younger pianist. A powerful virtuoso and a true original (compare his playing in the early '60s with anyone else from the time), Tyner (like Thelonious Monk) has not altered his style all that much from his early days but he has...
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