MCCOY TYNER — Extensions (review)

MCCOY TYNER — Extensions album cover Album · 1972 · Post Bop Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Sean Trane
As Tyner was slowly building his solo career, he was still intent on remaining close to the Coltrane galaxy during his Blue Note period, but was gradually exploring his own world. With Elvin still around, the inevitable Carter on contrabass and Shorter on sax, we also find Bartz tooting his horn as well, and Alice pops by with her harp for a few track. Recorded in one session in RVG’s studio in early 70, Extension is widely known for its wonderful National Geographic artwork; even it may a tad mislead you into thinking we’re heavily into African music with the present.

The opening 12-mins Message From The Nile is a very esoteric/mystic piece, especially when Alice’s harp enters midway though. The shorter but much faster Wanderer is strolling at breakneck speed, but Tyner’s ever-so-great piano helps greatly in smoothing out the hard edges of the track. The 13-mins+ Survival Blues is a more meditative piece, where Alice’s harp intervenes sporadically and in homeopathic doses. Carter’s lengthy bass solo might be superfluous, but when Tyner’s pîano comes to end it, the very communicative joy is at its fullest. As for the closing His Blessing, it’s mostly lice’s harp with Tyner adding his piano and Carter’s bowed contrabass, and if a Tyner composition, it would find a space in most of Alice’s then-contemporary albums.

Easily Tyner’s best Blue Note label album, Extensions must be considered as one of Tyner’s apex in a career that is filled with peaks nearing the Everest’s height in jazz’s history. Extensions is clearly the foreword and jays the grounds for the absolutely perfect Sahara album to come in a year or two.
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