Legendary Pianist's 1972 Milestone Debut that Garnered Two Grammy Nominations
Sahara represents the best that jazz had to offer in the early '70s. Rooted in modality, Tyner's playing is thick, chromatic and cavernous. A prominent virtue of this album lies within its eclectic, aural landscape. For example, if you desire Tyner's infamous "thunder (chords) and lightning (right-hand runs)", cue up "Ebony Queen" and "Rebirth" (Sonny Fortune's saxophone playing is absolutely scorching on these tracks!). Prefer some spiritually inspired solo piano? Then melt into the mellow mood manifested on "A Prayer For My Family."
Looking for something "different?" Then EXPERIENCE the 23-minute title track, which has reedman, Sonny Fortune playing flute, bassist Calvin Hill playing reeds, and drummer Alphonse Mouzon employing a variety of percussion effects. If all this isn't enough, on "Valley Of Life", Tyner picks up a koto and produces a gentle, hypnotic impressionistic sketch, aided again by Fortune on flute. On Sahara, the musicians weren't afraid to wail spontaneously, yet Tyner maintains a clear focus on the effort and, in doing so, expanded the very definition of jazz itself. Mission accomplished.
Personnel: McCoy Tyner (piano, koto, flute, percussion); Sonny Fortune (soprano & alto saxophones, flute); Alphonse Mouzon (trumpet, reeds, drums, percussion); Calvin Hill (reeds, bass, percussion). Recorded at Decca Recording Studios, New York, New York in January 1972.
- Ebony Queen
- A Prayer For My Family
- Valley Of Life