McCoy Tyner & John Scofield: Mr. P.C.
Composed by John Coltrane.
Recorded: New York, September 7, 2006
Rating: 94/100 (learn more)
McCoy Tyner has often returned to songs from his stint in the legendary John Coltrane Quartet. However, this Coltrane composition, first featured on the 1959 Giant Steps project—not as a paean to political correctness, rather a dedication to bassist Paul Chambers—actually predates Tyner's time with the saxophonist (although it remained in the repertoire of the classic 1960s quartet with Tyner). A half century later, this sizzling minor blues still can pack a punch. Jack DeJohnette kicks things off with a solo drum intro of eight bars that sets a driving tone for the proceedings. Scofield is full of energy and highly inventive as he takes no fewer than twelve choruses, his lines getting more complex as his solo moves toward its climax. Tyner follows with a brilliant solo, his left and right hands trading sound fragments that rumble and growl over the fiery accompaniment of Carter and DeJohnette. Scofield jumps back into the fray—clearly his dozen previous choruses did not exhaust his thoughts on the subject of Mr. Paul Chambers, or at least his perspective on the minor blues. Ron Carter is given the briefest of solos before the final melody statement, but decides to keep on walking, which he does in a fashion that would make the original Mr. P.C. proud.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia