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Counterpoints: Live In Tokyo

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Album Review

Although these live tracks were recorded on the same evening in 1978 as McCoy Tyner's earlier Milestone album Passion Dance, they inexplicably remained unreleased until 2004. With Tyner joined by a powerful rhythm section consisting of bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams, the fireworks begin with an explosive interpretation of the pianist's "The Greeting." Next are two solo piano features, including a return to Tyner's exotic "Aisha" and "Sama Layuca," the latter building upon a hypnotic vamp from Tyner's left hand as thunderous chords with occasional tremolos are played by his right hand. Tyner begins Duke Ellington's "Prelude to a Kiss" with a well-disguised introduction before entering familiar territory just prior to Carter's entrance, producing an absolutely stunning interpretation. The disc wraps with the return of Williams for Tyner's "Iki Mashio (Let's Go)," another over the top work comparable to the pianist's "Passion Dance," with an interlude featuring a quiet but intricate solo by Carter. Even with Tyner's fierce attack at the keyboard and his heavy use of the sustain pedal at times, the sound is remarkably clear.

Biography

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...
Full Bio