McCoy Tyner

Counterpoints: Live in Tokyo

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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.

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