The Real McCoy Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, March 9, 1999
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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.
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!
You'd be hard pressed to find any four people making a more coherent and original musical statement in ANY genre.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
After a drummer that I work with suggested I purchased it. I am so glad I did! This album has become one of my top 5 Favorite albums! Read morePublished 15 months ago by Ian Brown
McCoy Tyner and Joe Henderson are at their peak as players during this period
( in my opinion ) By that I mean they've establish a harmonic language that they'd build upon for... Read more
Tyner's playing is repetitive and sloppy. Bill Evans he ain't. Carter and Jones are great as usual, but try as they might, they can not make up for the pianist's creative weakness.Published on June 17, 2014 by kurt sax