Jazz Roots: McCoy Tyner Honors Jazz Piano Legends of the 20th Century is an adventurous solo piano tribute primarily devoted to recreating the roots of jazz. The legendary pianist performs 14 compositions written by such jazz pianists as Thelonius Monk, Bud Powell, Duke Ellington, Art Tatum George Gershwin, Chick Corea, and Keith Jarrett. Tyner seeks nothing less than a variety of jazz styles ranging from the stride of ragtime to the syncopation and blue notes of mainstream. He finds a supply of strides, shimmering arpeggios, pianissimo, impressionist harmonies, undulating rhythms, and rhapsodic sonic grace on great songs such as "Ain't Misbehavin'," "Sweet and Lovely," "Lullaby of Birdland," "Happy Days," and "You Taught My Heart to Sing." The songs and artists McCoy Tyner has selected to pay tribute to are all great examples of his excellent ability to blend these various sources of inspiration and his compositional integrity into a coherent, persuasive whole. Nowhere is this clearer or more meaningful than on these solo concerts.
AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein