McCoy Tyner In The ’70s: Part 3 

McCoy Tyner in 1973

Source: burning ambulance.

On August 31 and September 1, 1974, Tyner and his road band—saxophonist Azar Lawrence, bassist Juini Booth, drummer Wilby Fletcher, and percussionist Guilherme Franco—played at San Francisco’s Keystone Korner. The gigs were recorded, and the highlights were released on the pianist’s second double live album in as many years, Atlantis. Like 1974’s Enlightenment, it can be a lot to take in; the bandmembers are soloing ferociously, particularly Lawrence, who’s deep into a post-Coltrane calling-the-spirits zone. Fletcher is a hard-hitting, almost rock-like drummer, and Franco matches his energy level, throwing a constant clatter at him like he’s marching in a Carnival parade in Brazil. Booth’s extended solo on the 18-minute, album-opening title track is positively booming, and Tyner, of course, is tearing up the keyboard as always, spinning out long, elaborate lines while maintaining a serious hard bop groove at the same time. In addition to four Tyner originals—I love the fact that he was using live gigs to premiere new material—Atlantis features versions of Duke Ellington‘s “In a Sentimental Mood” and the standard “My One and Only Love.” The former is a wild, rippling solo performance that heads into Cecil Taylor territory, almost sounding like Tyner’s got four hands at times.