McCoy Tyner: Giant Steps
McCoy Tyner (piano)
Remembering John (Enja R2 79668)
McCoy Tyner (piano),
Avery Sharpe (bass), Aaron Scott (drums).
Composed by John Coltrane.
Recorded: New York, February 1991
Rating: 85/100 (learn more)
Although McCoy Tyner wasn't around for the original recording of "Giant Steps," he must have played it hundreds of times with Coltrane while in John's quartet. Some 30 years later, Tyner recorded this abridged version in tribute. Over the years, "Giant Steps" has become almost the de facto rite of passage for every young jazz musician. If you can improvise over those fast and complicated changes, you have earned your jazz bona fides! In a strange way, you sort of get the same feeling from Tyner on this cut. Perhaps he was seeking the role of teacher by indicating how it should be done, giving us a truncated "Giant Steps" that focuses on the very dynamics of the changes themselves. His block-chord playing is full, fast and impressive as can be. His single-note runs over the bass changes are nothing short of brilliant. He is a true master, encapsulating all in scarcely two minutes. Our rating, however, is 10 points lower due to what appears to be an egregious edit at the 18 sec. mark. McCoy is great enough that such an edit was an unnecessary intrusion, and it reflects poorly on those who for whatever reason made the decision.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky