McCoy Tyner

Horizon

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McCoy Tyner has fronted many mid-sized ensembles, but this one ranks with the very best he has led. As violinist John Blake jives and jousts with alto and soprano saxophonist Joe Ford and the incendiary tenor saxophonist George Adams, Tyner realizes a perfectly balanced, extroverted, compatible and utterly unique front line. It enables him to offer some of the most remarkable, memorable and powerful music of his career. It all starts with the magnificent opener "Horizon," which goes though a variety of dynamic rhythm changes, clarion calls, tinkling or rumbling piano set-ups prior to the band bursting loose, Afro-Cuban incursions, concise, inspired solos, and all powered by absolute perfect rhythm navigating from drummer Al Foster aside colorful percussive inserts by Guilherme Franco. It is one of the greatest single compositions of Tyner's career...sheer genius, period. "Just Feelin'" has been a piece that endures, played by Tyner in alternate trio and big-band settings as well. A singsong line courtesy of the vibrant tenor of Adams and Ford's plaintive, angular soprano radiates warmth for Blake's soaring violin to feed off of, as bright as any super nova. Blake's composition "Woman of Tomorrow, " with the violinist, both horn players switching to flute, Tyner and bass anchor Charles Fambrough is a textbook clinic exercise in beauty. "Motherland" chugs along in fierce modal revelry, powered by the rock-solid bass of Fambrough, with Adams getting to the heart of it in his typical fiery fashion and Franco urging him on playing the shekere, while "One for Honor" with just piano-bass-drums is a stone-cold hard bop wonder. The front cover has a silhouette of Tyner's face superimposed as lightning strikes fronting a raging thunderstorm, a great piece of art, as is this extraordinary recording, which cannot come more highly recommended.

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