- Audio CD (August 15, 2006)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Heads Up
- ASIN: B00000IFTM
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,556 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Latin All Stars
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McCoy Tyner And The Latin All-Stars
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Fresh from a world tour, McCoy Tyner's Latin All Stars headed straight to the studio to preserve the memory. The nine-member powerhouse includes Steve Turre on trombone and shells, Gary Bartz on alto and soprano, Avery Sharpe on bass, Ignacio Berroa on drums, Giovanni Hidalgo on percussion, Johnny Alemendra on timbales, Claudio Rodito on trumpet and flügelhorn, Dave Valentin on flute, and the maestro on piano. The opener, "Festival in Bahia," is a great showcase, complete with a vamp tailor-made for solo stretches of improvisatory machismo. Tyner's rendition of "Poinciana" (a tune so immortalized by Ahmad Jamal that almost no one else courts it) is done sans horns and sounds fresh. Unfortunately, the direct-to-two-track mode of recording does not do justice to such a capacious ensemble: the percussion loses much of its depth, the trombone sounds by turns strident and muddy, the clarity of the sax is inconsistent, and the shells fare even worse. Even this lamentable circumstance does not rob the album of its momentum: Kenny Dorham's classic "Blue Bossa" is taken at a tempo that would burn a dancer to dust, and Mongo Santamaria's "Afro Blue" is mined for all it's worth. The pianist is, of course, the crowning glory: singularly thrilling in approach and execution, he remains inimitable. --Karen Bennett
Pianist McCoy Tyner & The Latin All-Stars come on like a band of Latino musical marauders. Running the gamut of grooves in a state-of-the-art fashion, Tyner's nonet proves exemplary at distilling the deep connections betwen Latin music and jazz. For example, Kenny Dorham's jam-session favorite, "Blue Bossa" is presented as an uptempo samba with alternate changes - far removed from its relaxed original form. "La Habana Sol" - one of three Tyner originals - is a blistering line woven through a slightly veiled merengue beat. Excellent arrangements of "Poinciana" and "Afro Blue" round out the more recognizable fare.
The soloing is heavy-duty. tyner is heard sounding much more aggressive than of late. Trombonist Steve Turre breaks out his conch shells for several inspired solos. While Gary Bartz's gutsy alto and soprano are firmly grounded in latter-day Coltrane, Claudio Roditi's trumpet conjures the fluidity of a Clifford Brown.
The Latin All-Stars' horn section spews tight passages like an open fire hydrant on a stifling summer day in the Bronx. The crisp rhythm section, based around drummer Ignacio Berroa, clearly understands how to work the fundamental clave. All the while, Tyner stokes a fire beneath his hot band, spurring impulsive soloists to reach beyond their technical facilities toward the realm of free association.
--- James Rozzi, JAZZIZ Magazine Copyright © 2000, Milor Entertainment, Inc. -- From Jazziz
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Top Customer Reviews
Give a listen to a new sophisticated feel to "Poinciana". "Afro Blue" is infused with fresh imagination! It is a musical journey that reaches into the depths of the soul. And, of course, there are the original songs of distinction that McCoy himself wrote. His songs allow each musician a glorious opportunity in the spotlight. His "La Habana Sol" is very heady! For those who love great jazz piano and/or grand Latin rhythms, "We Are Our Fathers' Sons" is a must!
This is a collaboration of spirit coupled with an earthy finesse. Sadly overlooked by Billboard and Grammy, they have no idea what they missed! This collection flows like rich honey.
This disc, a companion to his great record of 1981, La Leyenda de la Hora, is among Tyner's finest. The band, made up of equal parts jazz and Latin musicians, features some of the very best of each, including Ignacio Berroa (a carryover from La Leyenda) on drums, Dave Valentin on flute, Gary Bartz on alto sax, Avery Sharpe on bass, Claudio Roditi on trumpet, Johnny Almendra on timbales, Giovanni Hildago on congas, and Steve Turre on trombone and shells. The latter especially shines throughout.
One of my favorite moments is his great conch solo on "Afro Blue," the Mongo Santamaria classic, here given a very spirited reading by the whole band. He also uncorks a great trombone solo on "Festival in Bahia." But he saves his best for "La Habana Sol" (the only number from La Leyenda included here) where he lets loose with a burning solo entirely in keeping with the fiery treatment this magical piece receives. Indeed, it's hard to imagine this record without his huge presence.
A word must also be put in for the tremendous contributions of the three Latin percussionists, Berroa, Almendra, and Hildago. The latter blasts off with a stunning short solo, perfectly placed and timed, on "La Habana Sol," while Berroa shows he's grown with both a deeper groove and greater coloration than ever.
Tyner's playing, however, shines brightest. He's absolutely on with his trademark single-note runs, often taken at breakneck speed. But it's not just that he "plays a lot of notes." He knows exactly where to place each one for optimal tonal and rhythmic value. And his ensemble playing always brilliantly punctuates even as it pushes the other musicians forward. Indeed, this disc contains some of the very finest Latin-jazz ensemble playing anywhere on record.
I'd have to disagree with those who say this record fades after the--admittedly remarkable--opener, "Festival in Bahia." To these ears the ensemble and solo brilliance keeps up throughout the entire disc, with high spots being "Poinciana," "Afro Blue," "La Habana Sol," and "Blue Bossa," the latter featuring a burning flute solo by Valentin where he pulls out all the stops and proves himself to be, not counting Robert Dick, the reigning master of his instrument. Bartz, Sharpe, Roditi, and Turre also contribute some amazing moments when they trade fours with the percussionists.
If you have any affinity at all for this kind of music, you will want to add this disc to your collection.
The original tunes here are also great; McCoy stretches out on A Song for Love and on the first track, Festival in Bahia. The mix of Cuban and Brazilian influenced material is inspired as well.
Everybody plays great here. Dig it!!
It is genius just cutting loose and having fun.
I have 400-500 CDs and this is one of my most played.