Picks and Pans Review: 44th Street Suite

updated 12/23/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/23/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

McCoy Tyner

If jazz had a Hall of Fame, pianist Tyner would be assured a place in it—not just for his famous work with John Coltrane in the '60s, but for all he has done since. A prolific composer, arranger and leader of bands big and small, Tyner is also a monster at the keyboard. Oceans of sound, phenomenal drive. Cecil Taylor and Don Pullen are Godzillas too. But Tyner is the only one of the three who shakes the walls without tearing them down.

Torrid but also highly lyrical and nuanced, Tyner is in top form on 44th Street Suite. So are his compatriots, bassist Ron Carter, drummer Aaron Scott and monsters of the saxophone David Murray (tenor) and Arthur Blythe (alto). Murray, who can run amok, stays focused here, and Blythe is both joyously loose and searing. In part II of the title cut the album concludes with Blythe and Tyner whipping up an epic blues storm. (Red Baron)

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