McCoy Tyner

Echoes of a Friend

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McCoy Tyner dedicated this 1972 recording of piano solos to John Coltrane. Five tunes, two by Coltrane, two by Tyner, and Rodgers & Hammerstein's "My Favorite Things," comprise the album.

On Coltrane's "Naima," Tyner enters softly in the upper register. After some orchestral piano strumming, he brings the listener into the melody. Then, using a chord as a launching pad, he takes off into a virtuoso right-hand piano break. Coming back into the melody, he uses the piano like a harp. "Promise," another Coltrane tune, starts with a Keith Jarrett-like groove, but quickly enters full-fledged McCoy Tyner territory. Sweeping into some low-register rumbling, the tune is stated in its simplest form and it's over. The 17-minute "The Discovery" starts with a gong, and immediately descends into a sweeping sonic torrent. After an outbreak of pianistic rage, there is a beautiful Debussy-like moment, spontaneous and natural. This is emotional and unrestrained music, best enjoyed if you just give in to it. It's beautiful, and innocent.

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