McCoy Tyner

What the World Needs Now: The Music of Burt Bacharach

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McCoy Tyner, one of the most vital of all jazz pianists, performs nine songs written by the superior pop composer Burt Bacharach. Since the tunes selected include "Close to You," "A House Is Not a Home," "Alfie" and "The Look of Love," this project had potential. Unfortunately, the Tyner trio (with bassist Christian McBride and drummer Lewis Nash) is accompanied by a huge string section and an orchestra given mostly surprisingly sappy and overly lush arrangements by John Clayton (who is capable of much better). The pianist treats each melody as if it were precious, and the overall results are rather schlocky. Compare this lightweight version of "A House Is Not a Home" to Jackie McLean's intense exploration or Tyner's "Alfie" to Sonny Rollins' for examples of how the pianist's project is an unimaginative misfire. A major disappointment.

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