May 25, 2015

McCoy Tyner - Expansions (1968)


Late 60s and early 70s Blue Note albums tend to sound a little directionless with the untimely retirement of Alfred Lion; untimely given the free jazz and fusion takeoff. Expansions might administer a little bit of that vibe, but the album's gentle, whispery temperament is what ultimately wins out. Gary Bartz, Miles Davis' guy from the voodoo funk days, adds some ethnic flavor with the flute and sweet alto. Wayne Shorter makes room for this session into his busy schedule and falls right in step with McCoy's modal recovery period after Coltrane died. Ron Carter does some of that cello nonsense that I'm not too big on, but his playing here is easily the most tolerable to me it's probably because the relaxed compositions are the perfect space for anything to sound good when noodled on.