McCoy Tyner: Satin Doll


Satin Doll


McCoy Tyner (piano)


Nights of Ballads and Blues (Impulse 221)

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McCoy Tyner (piano), Steve Davis (bass), Lex Humphries (drums).

Composed by Duke Ellington


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, March 4, 1963


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

If you only know McCoy Tyner from his Coltrane and post-Coltrane recordings, this early trio track may surprise you. Nights of Ballads and Blues is old-school Tyner. You will hear none of his familiar modal voicings. You will find none of his patented fourths-and-fifths-in-a-sprint licks. But the sheer beauty of his crisp touch is on display throughout, and the groove is irresistible on his casual reworking of the Ellington standard. This is not the place to start, if you are out to hear this pianist for the first time -- newbies should head immediately to the classic Coltrane quartet albums or Tyner's 1970s Milestone releases. But trio fans and Tyner-o-holics will want to check out this "Satin Doll."

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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