McCoy Tyner Trio 390.
(photo credit: mccoytyner.com)
Whenever one of the legendary figures of jazz makes it over here there is always
a buzz in the local community. The seemingly strange decision to host the
single local concert by 73-year-old pianist McCoy Tyner in Petah Tikva, rather
than Tel Aviv, did not prevent fans from the metropolis from making the trek
down Jabotinsky Street to the handsomely appointed concert hall round the corner
from the Petah Tikva Bus Station.
However, expectations far exceeded the
end result. Tyner made his name as a member of iconic saxophonist John
Coltrane’s great quartet in the first half of the 1960s. The pianist later
struck out on his own when he received an offer from Impulse Records owner Bob
Theile to record as a band leader in his own right. Several well-received
records followed, including The Real McCoy, in 1967, and Expansions the
Tyner also joined forces with like-minded musicians such
as trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, bassist Ron Carter and drummer and former fellow
Coltrane sideman Elvin Jones, and made a name for himself for his white-hot
technique and ability to incorporate seemingly dissonant runs and dense chords
into his solos.
However, what we got on Saturday night was an endless
stream of chords that were so dense they became opaque. It was only when Tyner
offered some more delicate melodic lines that the audience got some breathing
space, but the pianist was soon back pounding the keys into submission,
particularly in the lower register.
Bassist Gerald Cannon and drummer
Francisco Mela did little to lighten the proceedings, and their solo spots
showed little in the way of creativity.
It would be sad if this were to
be Tyner’s last appearance in this country but, should he venture back this way
again, one would hope for less aggression and more in the way of lucid