Inception (Remastered) McCoy Tyner

Album info



Label: Impulse!

Genre: Jazz

Subgenre: Hard Bop

Artist: McCoy Tyner

Album including Album cover

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  • 1Inception04:27
  • 2There Is No Greater Love06:18
  • 3Blues For Gwen04:24
  • 4Sunset04:40
  • 5Effendi06:38
  • 6Speak Low06:17
  • Total Runtime32:44

Info for Inception (Remastered)

McCoy Tyner took a break from the classic John Coltrane Quartet of the early 60s to record this, his debut solo album, in January of 1962.

Originally released later that same year on the legendary Impulse! label, Inception is essentially the John Coltrane Quartet minus Coltrane as it features Art Davis on bass and Elvin Jones on drums.

A mellow and lyrical album that includes 4 Tyner originals, Inception is an early look at the work of one of post-bop jazz' finest pianists.

"Those familiar with the dense, percussive style that pianist McCoy Tyner has cultivated since the 1970s onwards may be surprised by what they hear on Inception. Like Reaching Fourth and Nights of Ballads and Blues, this album gives listeners the chance to hear what a very young Tyner sounded like outside the confines of the classic John Coltrane quartet of the early '60s; it reveals a lyrical approach to jazz piano that seems a far cry from Tyner's mature style. The choice of material is fairly evenly split between modal pieces like "Inception" and more harmonically involved tunes like "Speak Low," and the pianist's treatment of both demonstrates the extent to which his early work was rooted in bebop. Tyner had yet to develop the massive orchestral sound and highly distinctive vocabulary of modal licks that would mark his later style, and throughout this album he spins dizzyingly long and singing lines with an exquisitely light touch. The irresistible rush of forward momentum that he maintains on tracks like "Effendi" and "Blues for Gwen" is breathtaking, and there is an exuberant, almost athletic quality to much of his solo work. Bassist Art Davis and drummer Elvin Jones provide superb accompaniment throughout, and they lay a solid rhythmic foundation for Tyner's sparkling melodic flights. The pianist's penchant for drama, which asserts itself more strongly in his later work, is on brief display in the original ballad "Sunset"; his skills as an arranger, though evident on several tracks, are perhaps best illustrated by the intricate contrapuntal treatment of "There Is No Greater Love." (Alexander Gelfand, AMG)

McCoy Tyner, piano
Art Davis, double bass
Elvin Jones, drums

Recorded January 10 and 11, 1962 at at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Digitally remastered

McCoy Tyner
Born in Philadelphia on December 11, 1938, McCoy Tyner started playing piano at age 13 with Bud Powell, Art Tatum and Thelonious Monk as his primary influences. He began working locally with Calvin Massey and also landed a gig as house pianist at a Philly jazz club where he played behind visiting jazz artists. During his developing years he also gigged with trumpter Lee Morgan and with saxophonist Benny Golson before becoming a member of the Jazztet, an important group co-led by Golson and trumpeter Art Farmer. He appears on quintessential recordings of Golson’s "I Remember Clifford," "Blues March" and "Killer Joe" from their 1959 recording for Chess Records, Meet The Jazztet.

Tyner remained with the Jazztet until John Coltrane was ready to leave Miles Davis’ group and launch his solo career. From 1960 to late 1965, he played a key role alongside drummer Elvin Jones and bassist Jimmy Garrison in the Coltrane Quartet, arguably one of the most influential groups in modern jazz. They released a series of important recordings on the Impulse label, securing for McCoy a place in jazz history. Tyner made his own debut as a leader on Impulse with 1963’s Inception, a trio offering with bassist Art Davis and drummer Elvin Jones. For the liner notes of that maiden voyage, Coltrane offered these words about the pianist: "First there is his melodic inventiveness and along with that the clarity of his ideas. He also gets a very personal sound from his instrument. In addition, McCoy has an exceptionally well developed sense of form, both as a soloist and accompanist. Invariably, in our group, he will take a tune and build his own structure for it. He is always looking for the most personal way of expressing himself. And finally, McCoy has taste. He can take anything, no matter how weird, and make it sound beautiful."

Subsequent releases on the Impulse label included Nights of Ballads & Blues, Plays Duke Ellington, Reaching Fourths, Today And Tomorrow. His 1967 recording for Blue Note, The Real McCoy, with Joe Henderson, Ron Carter and Elvin Jones, stands as one of the great jazz recordings of its time. In 1978, Tyner toured with Sonny Rollins, Ron Carter and Al Foster as the Milestone Jazz Stars and when Blue Note was relaunched in 1985 he found himself back on the label. He was reunited with Impulse in 1995 and released the excellent Infinity, featuring guest soloist (and fellow Philly native) Michael Brecker.

Tyner continues to perform with his longstanding trio of drummer Aaron Scott and bassist Avery Sharpe (who both appeared on Infinity). He also makes appearances at festivals and the rare nightclub gig with his 14-piece big band.

This new release was recorded live on what would have been John Coltrane's 71st birthday, this live McCoy set at the Vanguard was the first night of an Impulse! Records celebration of Coltrane's legacy. 2 sets were played and this recording represents the best from the available recorded tracks.

As one of the most important pianists of the last thirty years, McCoy Tyner’s richly harmonic and percussive style of playing has influenced countless musicians and contributed to many of jazz’s greatest moments. A pioneering member of John Coltrane’s legendary quartet, McCoy Tyner evokes the spirit of Trane on this new release, a live 1997 recording, with a program dedicated to Coltrane's compositions and signature songs.

This album contains no booklet.

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