McCoy Tyner In The ’70s: Part 5

McCoy Tyner in 1973

Source: burning ambulance.

Counterpoints: Live in Tokyo was recorded in 1978, but not released until 2004. It features more material from the same performance that was documented on Passion Dance, with Ron Carter on bass and Tony Williams on drums. Again, the full trio doesn’t perform throughout; Carter and Williams are only heard on the opening “The Greeting,” where the bassist takes a pleasingly bouncy solo, and the final two numbers, a version of Duke Ellington‘s “Prelude to a Kiss” and a new piece, “Iki Masho (Let’s Go)”. The other two tracks, “Aisha” and “Sama Layuca,” are solo piano pieces. The former is a shimmering ballad that rises to one thundering crescendo after another, only to recede again; the latter is pure pounding force throughout, as though he’s trying to compensate for the absence of the heavy Latin percussion from the studio version by slamming the keys. It’s mildly interesting that even though Counterpoints came out in 2004, it’s only 48 minutes long, like a vinyl LP would be. It raises the question of why Passion Dance wasn’t a double album, since the material here is of the same quality as on the earlier release.