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Swinging quartet session
on 22 April 2005
This is one of pianist McCoy Tyner's most famous records and features him with fellow Coltrane Quartet member, drummer Elvin Jones. The bass is played by the excellent Ron Carter whilst the only horn is played by tenor maestro Joe Henderson.
Whilst the expectations are likely to be music in the spirit of John Coltrane, Henderson is more his own man. The combination of Tyner and Jones has an interesting effect on tenor players and the meeting with Wayne Shorter on "Ju-Ju" (another classic) sees Shorter sounding more like Coltrane than on any other outing.
Here, Henderson pursues his unique and unorthodox style, his meandering approach hoovering up all the harmonic possibilities.
Of the five tracks it is true that the opening , modal, "Passion Dance" (based on two chords) and the mournful "Contemplation" are just the things Coltrane dug. However, the next track "Four by five" plays around with time signatures (still working out just how !) and is far more eubullient than anything Tyner recorded with his old boss. "Search for peace" is a beautiful ballad and the closing "Blues on the corner" has all the lopsided humour of Monk. And with Jones pushing things along from his drums, you can bet that the music really swings.
All in all, an enjoyable, if short CD. The only grumble is that the sound is not a great as some remastered Blue Notes, but don't let this put you off some fantastic music.