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The Real McCoy Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

37 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, March 9, 1999
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Product Description

McCoy's essential 1967 recording, with five original compositions and featuring Joe Henderson, Ron Carter and Elvin Jones. Includes extra photos.

This 1967 quartet was McCoy Tyner's first for Blue Note as a leader, although he had frequently recorded as a sideman for the label--with Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, and Grant Green, among others. One of the last recordings produced by Blue Note founder Alfred Lion, and Tyner's first as a leader since leaving the legendary John Coltrane Quartet two years before, the session has a special quality. There's something of the Blue Note sound to the group's concentrated intensity, perhaps Lion's contribution as well as engineer Rudy Van Gelder's, while Tyner, a more conservative musician than Coltrane, was integrating the modal and expressionist forms of the Coltrane quartet into more tightly defined compositional patterns. In tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, Tyner found a true peer, another musician with a strong identity whose style represented a similar amalgam of conventional and innovative elements. Together with drummer Elvin Jones, and bassist Ron Carter, they both reassert the hard-bop mainstream with "Four by Five" and the deep blues of "Blues on the Corner" and extend it with the heightened solemnity of "Search for Peace" and the brilliant rhythmic interplay of "Passion Dance." --Stuart Broomer
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 9, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Blue Note
  • Run Time: 37 minutes
  • ASIN: B00000I41E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,685 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 92 people found the following review helpful By G B on August 22, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This was the first of 6 albums McCoy Tyner recorded for Blue Note records in the late 60s and early 70s. His earlier records for Impulse (Inception, A Night of Ballads and Blues, etc.) were generally more conservative recordings in the piano trio format. But on Real McCoy he went for the explosive, wide open modal sound of the 60s Coltrane quartet.
Tyner had played with Elvin Jones for over five years in Coltrane's group and by this point they were joined at the musical hip; as usual, Jones is a polyrhythmic monster on "Passion Dance" and "Four by Five". Joe Henderson had played in front of Tyner and Jones several times, including the classic quartet date Inner Urge (also on Blue Note); this is among his best playing of the 60s, along with Larry Young's Unity. His mixture of mainstream playing and wild avant-gardisms is on perfect display. Ron Carter provides a strong, flexible anchor. McCoy's playing would get denser and heavier over the next few years, but his powerful sound (dark, left hand chords and fast, unpredictable right hand lines) is well featured here.
All five original compositions are classics. Coltrane didn't record many of Tyner's pieces, so the pianist's style as a writer give this album a distinctly different flavor from the Coltrane group despite the Tyner-Jones pairing. "Passion Dance" and "Four by Five" are intense modal workouts, "Contemplation" and "Search for Peace" are haunting ballads, and "Blues on the Corner" sounds just like the title.
The Real McCoy isn't as intense as some of his early 70s recordings for Milestone records (Sahara, Enlightenment) but it sets the tone for them. With the possible exception of Extensions with Wayne Shorter and Gary Bartz, it is the best of his Blue Note albums. If you like the more intense, wild moments of the '63-'64 Coltrane quartet, the Real McCoy is essential.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By D. Read on April 26, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Having been a big fan of Tyner's amazing piano work with Coltrane in the 60s, I bought "The Real McCoy" with high hopes. I was not disappointed, and since then, this record has seen many hours in my CD players. Tyner proves here that his genius is not limited to playing sideman. The tunes here are beautifully composed, fully developed, and expertly performed. Tyner's left hand is scary; it demands your attention. The other players are in top form as well. It's great listening to Ron Carter and Elvin Jones together after hearing so many hours of Ron Carter playing with Tony Williams and Elvin Jones playing with Jimmy Garrison. I can't see any fan of jazz, casual or otherwise, being disappointed by this masterpiece.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 27, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Here's a great album by McCoy Tyner. And it's another great album recorded with this rhythm section of McCoy, Elvin Jones, and Ron Carter. There are too many great ones to list... Extensions, Trident,
Joe Henderson roughs out the mix with his gruff, but pleasant tenor sax. And it's an all around nice deal. I really like this music, sometimes more than some of the work that McCoy and Elvin did with Trane (hope I don't get shot for saying that though!) There's just some great music here. Five songs, lots of action, some nice fireworks, and good restraint. Everyone plays pretty passionate. Elvin is Elvin and always will be. I like McCoy here, but don't like much of his recent work. But he's still got that thing that I like. But, that doesn't necessarily mean that you will or will not. Joe Henderson always makes a nice foil for these guys, just like Wayne Shorter does on his albums. And Ron Carter is just cool to listen to.
I'd say, get this album. Especially if you've sampled a lot of Coltrane with these guys and maybe some Wayne Shorter or Bobby Hutcherson where these guys play together. It's nice to hear Elvin and McCoy with someone Else besides Trane. And it's just a damn good cd. Good sound. Good playing. Get it!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Marsella on November 21, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This cd is a showcase for the younger McCoy Tyner's compositional and improvisational styles. It captures this master musician at a crossroads between the harder core modal music that he had been recording with John Coltrane a few years earlier and points the way to his own signature style that would emerge in later recordings. The quartet assembled here is perfectly matched and these 4 fine musicians created something of lasting value. Elvin Jones' drumming is dynamic and innovative, Ron Carter's bass playing is awesome and Joe Henderson's tenor provides the perfect counterweight to Tyner's piano. Henderson uses a combination of the lyrical with subtle and artful touches of dissonance that makes his sound unique and distinguished among jazz players. I think he may be the most underrated of the great sax players of his generation.

McCoy Tyner's compositional talents are stunning and the man has put out an amazing amount of great music over the years. He continues to this day to be one of the top innovators out there. The Real McCoy is an essential recording for anyone who wants to understand an important part of his evolution as an artist.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dave Stagner on June 24, 2002
Format: Audio CD
It's just... cool. Intense and creative, yet mature. Challenging yet approachable. The band is amazingly coherent. McCoy Tyner's approach to the piano is a revelation. Elvin Jones speaks in his unique voice while staying within the bounds of hard bop. Joe Henderson's sax is a perfect foil for Tyner's comping and compositions, and Ron Carter holds it all together.
You'd be hard pressed to find any four people making a more coherent and original musical statement in ANY genre.
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