MCCOY TYNER — Atlantis (review)

MCCOY TYNER — Atlantis album cover Live album · 1975 · Post Bop Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Sean Trane
This is a double vinyl live album recorded over two nights in Frisco’s Keystone Korner jazz club in late August 74. The line-up is Tyner’s then group that had recorded Enlightenment the year before, with the addition of Brazilian percussionist Guilherme Franco. So with contrabassist Booth and drummer Fletcher, we’re finding the young Tyner recruit of Azar Lawrence on tenor sax for his second album. This was a bit of a return to Tyner’s early Trane days, since he’d generally avoided using a tenor, in order not to provoke critics and reminiscence of his Trane days.

No need to worry though, because most of the music stretching over the two discs (now on a single CD) don’t really aim at Tyner’s 60’s sonics, but definitely is the logical continuation of his Sahara/Extensions/Song For My Lady soundscapes. Indeed, despite a very different line-up, the 17-mins+ title track could be an outtake or leftover from Sahara, just like the closing almost 16-mins Love Samba (where Franco’s percussions are allowing Tyner to explore Brazilian music). Oh yes, the young tenor saxman Azar was indeed trying a bit too hard to sound like Coltrane, which mildly irritated McCoy in the long run, but I personally don’t see a problem with this, because it’s not pervasive or invasive. The only track from the four sets of these two Korner days that sticks out a bit is Sentimental Mood, and it’s a Tyneresque solo tribute to Ellington. The rest of the album is of the Sahara ilk, but without the same studio perfection

As you can expect from almost any live album (and even more double live albums), you’ll find some lengths that appear when playing it in your living room, instead of witnessing it “en vivo”, but rest assured that you won’t find yourself looking at the clock at anytime, even if swallowing the two discs’ contents in one sitting might be a little arduous.

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