MCCOY TYNER — Inner Voices

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MCCOY TYNER - Inner Voices cover
3.80 | 6 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1977

Filed under Post Bop


A1 For Tomorrow 6:04
A2 Uptown 7:27
A3 Rotunda 6:43
B1 Opus 9:32
B2 Festival In Bahia 10:04

Total Time: 40:07


Acoustic Guitar – Earl Klugh
Piano – McCoy Tyner
Bass – Ron Carter
Drums – Eric Gravatt

About this release

Milestone Records ‎– M-9079 (US)

Recorded at Electric Lady Studios, N.Y.C; September 1,2,6,7,and 8, 1977

Thanks to snobb for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Here is an usual McCoy Tyner Album, This is an album that escaped me for some time, I am not big on the Vocal Chorus thing, But a few albums like this have grown on me, Andrew Hill's Lift Every Voice, and Max Roaches It's Time immediately come to mind, Inner Voices is somewhat similar, In that we have typical Post Bop style music augmented by a vocal chorus.

The music begins with a Piano Drums Duet "For Tomorrow" with the chorus and its a nice start, The next track "Uptown" is typical Tyner Post bop, with a hard charging Bass Line and slightly disjointed rhythm in the Thelonious Monk style, Some Brass backing, and No chorus.

The music is high quality Post Bop no doubt, and I don't think any Tyner fan would be disappointed with Inner Voices, and as fan myself, I sure wasn't, The best way to describe the chorus, it is used more in the same role as the brass, punctuating, stating themes etc... Track 3 has an interesting Acoustic guitar solo, I believe by Earl Klug, Very unexpected because of his laid back approach, It may seem as if it doesn't fit at first, I give Klug, or Tyner as the leader credit for being different, Some will find the Voices annoying no doubt, But I didn't think they ever got in the way.

Side 2 starts off with the voices stating the theme, then Ron Carter comes in with a nice lightly funky bass line, then it's typical Ron Carter, elastic, yet in the pocket, One thing about Ron Carter, especially those famous Miles Davis Plugged Nickel Sessions, His Elastic style really pushes the music, You could make an argument easily, That Ron Carter is the Most Important Jazz Bassist the last 50 years. Think about it, Especially the post bop styles after 1967, I mean every Bassist sounds like him now, just like every drummer sounds Like Tony Williams in some respect.

Inner voices turned out to be a great find, Not bad for a Dollar thrift store find.

Members reviews

Sean Trane
One of the rare 60’s jazz hero that knew no hardship or “baisse de régime” during the 70’s is Tyner, who kept on exploring new avenues with incredible success (if only artistic), and this late-77 release (on the now-usual Milestones label)is no exception. As one might guess from the album title, this one is a vocal affair, which is rather unusual for the man and his crowd around him. Don’t get me wrong, this is no crooner album, as the voices of the innerside are a 7-member choir, including 6 women. Recorded in Hendrix’ Electric Lady studio in Sept, the sessions sees Ron Carter on electric bass, Earl Klugh on acoustic guitar, and the drum stool is shared by Eric Gravatt and JDJ.

Opening on For Tomorrow, where Tyner is alone with Carter’s electric bass facing an awesome wordless and aerial (dare I say celestal) choir and you’d have to have a solid bad faith not to be enthused by the early turning of the album. The following Uptown is the only instrumental number, but the choirs are replaced by an extended horn section (four trumpets, four trombones, and four saxes), Klugh’s acoustic guitar and Gravatt’s powerful drumming. Rotunda features more or less the same formula (but with Dejohnette on drums) but the horn section is replaced by the scatting choirs appearing on the opening track.

The flipside features two lengthier tracks, starting with Gravatt drumming up a storm and both the horn and choir are alternatively taking it up another gear, and we’re close to 100 MPH, especially when the two join forces. However fine the trombone and solos are, they’re not really living up to the track’s light-speed cadence, but it’s nothing worth really outlining (consider I didn’t ;o)). The closing Bahia Festival sees JDJ getting the help of Brazilian percussionist Franco, and despite a slow and calm intro with Tyner’s ever-so-charming piano, once Klugh’s guitar and Franco’s congas open the “hostilities”, there is no stopping the bans, with the horn section members relaying in short solos (trumpets mainly) and answer the celestial choir.

Another typically unique album, Inner Voices sits apart in Tyner’s discography, because of his use of the choir. Don’t be afraid at all though (but don’t expect to hear the old Trane Tyner either), unless you’re allergic to wordless/scat vocals. This is an absolutely awesome album, unique in its genre (to my knowledge anyway) under that form, and that Inner Voice of toyrs will not let you down if it tells you “shoot”.

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