The Rudy Van Gelder Edition of THE REAL MCCOY includes an essay by Bob Blumenthal.
Personnel: McCoy Tyner (piano); Joe Henderson (tenor saxophone); Ron Carter (bass); Elvin Jones (drums).
Producer: Alfred Lion.
Reissue producer: Michael Cuscuna.
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on April 21, 1967. Originally released on Blue Note (4264). Includes liner notes by Nat Hentoff and Bob Blumenthal.
Digitally remastered by Rudy Van Gelder (1998, Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey).
This is part of the Blue Note Rudy Van Gelder Editions series.
Recorded a mere two years after McCoy Tyner's tenure with the great John Coltrane quartet (a group considered by many to be among jazz's best-ever outfits), THE REAL MCCOY finds the pianist continuing to expand as a composer and player. The album marks Tyner's move from Impulse to Blue Note, and he sounds suitably energized, playing challenging post-bop that, while lacking the revolutionary fervor of A LOVE SUPREME, for example, still occupies the front ranks of the forward-thinking jazz of the era.
Tyner is joined by his former Coltrane cohort Elvin Jones on drums, stalwart bassist Ron Carter, and the underrated saxophonist Joe Henderson. The quartet acquits itself admirably on five Tyner compositions, among which "Passion Dance" and "Four By Five" are the best. Coltrane's influence can be heard throughout the album, especially in the sinuous, modal approach and in Henderson's ambitious solos, but Tyner's powerful playing, wholly his own, steals the show.