1/  Message From The Nile                      (Tyner)                       12.21
  2/  The Wanderer                               (Tyner)                       7.42
  3/  Survival Blues                             (Tyner)                       13.15
  4/  His Blessings                              (Tyner)                       6.50

          Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, February 9, 1970
          Engineered by Rudy Van Gelder
          Produced by Francis Wolff
          Digitally Remastered for CD by Ron McMaster
McCoy Tyner: piano; Alice Coltrane: harp; Wayne Shorter: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone; Gary Bartz: alto saxophone; Ron Carter: acoustic bass; Elvin Jones: drums.

          1970 - Blue Note (USA), BN-LA006-F (Vinyl)
          1996 - Blue Note (USA), CDP 7243 8 37646 2 4 (CD)


This CD has an interesting combination of players. It may be the only recording to include both pianist McCoy Tyner and his successor with the John Coltrane Quartet, Alice Coltrane (who adds atmosphere with her harp). This set also matches the young altoist Gary Bartz with Wayne Shorter (doubling on tenor and soprano) who he succeeded in Miles Davis' group and has reunions between Shorter and bassist Ron Carter and by Tyner and drummer Elvin Jones. The all-star sextet stretches out on lengthy renditions of four of Tyner's modal originals and there is strong solo space for the leader and the two saxophonists. Wayne Shorter in particular is often quite intense. Stimulating music.

Scott Yanow (courtesy of All Music Guide website)


Three numbers on this 1970 reissue recall the classic Coltrane quartet sound, and the fourth track goes a step further, into the spiritual late period Coltrane change. Tyner's sextet here includes Alice Coltrane's harp, Wayne Shorter's tenor and soprano, Gary Bartz' alto, Elvin Jones' drums, and Ron Carter's bass.

A powerful virtuoso, McCoy Tyner carried the legacy onward after Coltrane's death. "Message From The Nile," based on a 12-note, 2-bar motif stated initially by the saxophones of Shorter and Bartz in harmony, is repeated by each solo in turn. This was typical of John Coltrane's middle period, and the passionate solo work from everyone here is worthy of comparison. "His Blessings," on the other hand, uses the bowed bass, harp, and Shorter's flexible soprano sax voice, without any meter whatsoever, to relate a spiritual quality. Although a brief 40 minutes, this recording serves to remind us of the intense passion willed to us by the Coltrane legacy.

Jim Santella (courtesy of All About Jazz website)