MCCOY TYNER — Inception

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MCCOY TYNER - Inception cover
3.96 | 7 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 1962

Filed under Post Bop
By MCCOY TYNER

Tracklist

A1 Inception 4:18
A2 There Is No Greater Love 6:07
A3 Blues For Gwen 4:16
B1 Sunset 4:30
B2 Effendi 6:23
B3 Speak Low 6:05

Total Time: 32:55

Line-up/Musicians

McCoy Tyner- piano
Art Davis- bass
Elvin Jones-drums

About this release

Impulse! – A-18 (US)

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on January 10 and 11

Thanks to snobb for the updates

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Jazz Pianist
Inception was the superb debut of jazz piano virtuoso and visionary McCoy Tyner, and as well as being one of my favourite pianists, his debut has to be one of my favourite outputs from the man. Having said that, this was recorded at a time where he was still growing as a player; he was still developing his musical identity. Hearing a later recording of him, you would instantly recognise his style: where Bill Evans had his block chords, and Peterson had his speed and harmonic richness, McCoy used and still uses massive low octaves, superb technique and incredibly "out" passages in his solos. None of this really is evident here, and he often sticks to the jazz rule book, which is fair enough when trying to get a name for yourself without irritating jazzheads.

But despite the fact that this album follows the rules most of the time, it is excellent for what it is. If you like straight edge jazz with superb musicianship and a sprinkle of technical bombast, this is definitely for you.

So what of the actual tracks? I'll review my three favourites, incidently being the first half:

The title track is as showy as they come, with enough syncopation to make a non-jazz fan feel nauseous. McCoy's solo is excellent, albeit not the most creative on the album. The drumming is tight and shows that once again, Elvin Jones is a force to be reckoned with. A very good track, with some interesting quartal harmony and whole tone use during the "fours".

The Inception version of There Is No Greater Love is in fact my favourite studio version ever, so it goes without saying that it's my favourite off the album. McCoy really shifts the original melody around, and the interplay between him and Art Davis is lush. Speaking of Art, his solo in this is standout. Short and sweet, he uses lots of the neck here and is creative genius. Once again, Elvin is on fire with the brushes. Great tune very well played.

Blues For Gwen is a standard jazz blues, however one twist: McCoy's harmony really stands out for me. His dense chords here are hints of what he'll be recognised for on later recordings, and WOW, what a solo! Possibly his shining moment as a pianist on Inception, stunning. This is probably due to the vast scope for experimentation a blues incorporates, and he really does not hold back.

I couldn't recommend this album any more to someone starting out on McCoy's material. It certainly got me into him, but also it is a good listen for the most seasoned jazz listener, as you can hear the very beginning of what evolved into a huge jazz career. From McCoy's first album you could hear that he was promising, and matured musically into one of the best and most inspirational jazz pianists of all time, up there with Evans and Powell.

However, I cannot vote this 5 stars, because it just isn't. It is superb yes, however it is grossly shadowed by Tyner's later and greater works. He still needs to mature a little here, and by that I mean he is still to develop his own voice in jazz piano. And for the very reason of it being perfection, but still (on balance) primitive, I can only rate it 4.

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  • KK58
  • yair0103
  • richby
  • Anster
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