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Guitars (CD/DVD)

3.9 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 23, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

''I've never done anything like this before'' McCoy Tyner recently said of his second album on McCoy Tyner Music/Half Note Records, a CD/DVD titled GUITARS. Along with a trio of Ron Carter and Jack DeJohnette, Tyner invited guitarists Bill Frisell, Derek Trucks, John Scofield, Marc Ribot, and banjoist Bela Fleck for the studio recording and DVD shoot, scheduled for a September 23 release. ''It was great, and each guy had his own concept and own sound which is very, very important on any instrument, '' said Tyner, ''You know, I look for that, the individual sound and concept. ''

Legendary producer John Snyder oversaw the project along with executive producers Jeff Levenson, VP of McCoy Tyner Muisc/Half Note Records, and Steve Bensusan, President of the Blue Note Jazz Club. Said Levenson, ''What impressed me about the project was how seamless the integration was. We have guys with disparate styles. You have guys who approach their instruments differently. The beauty of this project is how they all found common ground with McCoy. ''

The CD is accompanied by a state of the art DVD featuring songs with each special guest guitarist and bonus footage. The DVD has 3 hours of multiple-angle viewing capability. By clicking the ANGLE button on the remote or the player on a computer, one can watch the Editor s Cut on Angle 1, all four musicians at once with Angle 2 (4 quadrants), or isolate any of the musicians and watch them exclusively with Angles 3 through 6.

Tyner, who will turn 70 on December 11, is looking forward to the week-long celebration at the Blue Note in Manhattan that ends on his birthday. When asked about his recording future, Tyner thought for a time and spoke candidly. ''I think there is always something to do that you haven't done exactly. There's always that the idea of what else can I do, and something always comes up. No two days are the same. So we look forward to tomorrow cause that's going to be different from yesterday and today. Hopefully it's a good one! ''
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 23, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: MCCOY TYNER MUSIC
  • ASIN: B001D84S0Q
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,229 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Matthew Miller on September 23, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I had no idea this was coming out until I saw it by chance in a store today and can now happily report that it is another excellent outing by the longstanding jazz master, McCoy Tyner in the middle of a phenomenal jazz trio with a number of distinguished guests. The trio consists of McCoy with Ron Carter on bass and Jack Dejohnette on drums. The guests are all either guitarists or in the case of Bela Fleck, a banjo player. The result is a varied, always interesting takes on a number of songs, including some Tyner standards, some classic Coltrane songs and a few of the guests' compositions for good measure.

The trio at the standard is exactly what you would expect, namely, superb. The skills of Tyner, Carter and Dejohnette have already in numerous places been praised, so I see no need to say anything other than that they live up to there reputations here. Especially Dejohnette, a personal favorite of mine, who constantly amazes with his sense of time, accent and space within the band. Only one person could have possibly done it better than him, in my opinion, and that would have been Elvin Jones. In the end, he and Ron Carter provide a very solid core over which McCoy and guests experiment. McCoy himself is continuing to go strong as he has in the past.

The guests, obviously, make this recording interesting, and there is a lot in there contributions. There are five of them (Marc Ribot, John Scofield, Bela Fleck, Derek Trucks and Bill Frisell) and each has a very distinctive style and repertoire. The result is that the album is varied, not so varied as to lack cohesion, but varied enough to remain interesting throughout. Their very specifics sorts of tones add a lot to the mix of the album. Trucks, for instance is very blues driven, while Scofield has a wider, more mellow tone.
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Format: Audio CD
You never know what you're going to get when a jazz artist brings in a series of high-profile guest artists. Some of those discs are messes, but some win you over. This one is a winner. McCoy Tyner's resume is very extensive, but he hasn't done much with guitarists. Along with an ace rhythm section of Ron Carter and Jack DeJohnette, McCoy teams up with five guitarists. The five guitarists are Marc Ribot, John Scofield, Béla Fleck, Derek Trucks, and Bill Frisell. The only 'safe' choice on that list is John Scofield. The rest are most daring than I'd expect McCoy to play with - Béla Fleck is a banjo player, not even a guitarist! You also can't call it a meeting of the old guard with the young guns, since Ribot, Scofield, Fleck, and Frisell are all in their 50's. Though Trucks is in his 20's, he's a rock/blues guitarist, so he isn't a jazz young gun.

Marc Ribot starts things off with a fast and fun "Passion Dance", then a bluesier "500 Miles". Ribot and Tyner also have two improvised duets which aren't quite as good as the quartet songs. "Mr. P. C." sounds exactly like John Scofield from the first notes. Similar to "Passion Dance", it's a very good up-tempo jam. "Blues On The Corner" has a more structured melody, and Scofield again is in fine form. Béla Fleck's three songs aren't bad, and he's certainly brave to take on "My Favorite Things". Banjo is inherently a less expressive instrument than the guitar. Derek Trucks has a blues and "Greensleeves". Since Coltrane's version of "Greensleeves" isn't as classic as "My Favorite Things", it's not too risky a choice. Trucks is pretty good - he plays expressively and a tad simpler than the full-time jazz guys.
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Format: Audio CD
Overview:
Pianist McCoy Tyner teams up with jazz legends Ron Carter (bass) and Jack Dejohnette (drums) to form a powerful foundation in his new CD guitars. This trio is joined by 5 different special guest guitarists, Bill Frisell, John Scofield, Bela Fleck, Derek Trucks and Marc Ribot. While some Tyner fans might be disappointed that McCoy deviated from his typical albums, I welcome the change. This CD is a totally unique addition to McCoy's catalog and succeeds on many levels. The key to the success of this album is that they didn't go and pick the 5 best jazz guitarists. Instead they picked guitarists who have diverse styles each with their own strongly defined personality. While I'm not really a fan of Bela Fleck or Dereck Trucks, including them on this album was genious. Not only do they play great, but their unique style of playing adds great diversity to the album and provides some fascinating variations to some classic tunes. John Scofield and Bill Frisell fans will love the hearing these jazz guitar legends play for the first time with McCoy Tyner. Prior to listening to this album I was not familiar with Marc Ribot. At first listen his shredding electric style of playing seemed a little bit too much. However, on further listens I have really grown to love the versions of Passion Dance and 500 Miles. Passion Dance really is a burner of a tune and Ribot's electric assault really works. McCoy Tyner style plays with amazing dexterity and power. It is simply amazing at his age that he is still able to generate a tremendous wall of sound with his powerful left handed chords. In addition to being a great CD to listen to, a DVD is included with album that shows the group recording in the studio.
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