Personnel: McCoy Tyner (piano); Sonny Fortune (soprano & alto saxophones, flute); Virgil Jones, Cecil Bridgewater, Jon Faddis (trumpet); Dick Griffin (trombone, bass trombone); Garnett Brown (trombone); Kiani Zawadi (euphonium); Julius Watkins, Willie Ruff, William Warnick III (French horn); Bob Stewart (tuba); Hubert Laws (piccolo, flute); Harry Smyles (oboe); Selwart Clarke, John Blair, Sanford Allen, Winston Collymore, Noel DaCosta, Marie Hence (violin); Julian Barber, Alfred Brown (viola); Ronald Lipscomb (cello); Jooney Booth (bass); Alphonse Mouzon (drums); Sonny Morgan (congas).
Recorded at A&R Sound Studios, New York, New York from April 6-9, 1973. Originally released on Milestone (9049). Includes original liner notes by Orrin Keepnews.
Digitally remastered by Phil De Lancie (1991, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
In 1973, jazz was branching out; the Mahavishnu Orchestra recorded "Between Nothingness and Eternity," Chick Corea made "Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy," and McCoy Tyner teamed up with producer Orrin Keepnews for "Song of the New World." There's plenty of great music here, plus a vintage '70s vibe, on Tyner's first foray into orchestral jazz.
Mongo Santamaria's "Afro Blue" begins with an exotic intro of flute, conga, thumb piano, and bells, and the full band entrance is strong and majestic. After a duet of dueling flutes Tyner plays a whirlwind solo over Alphonse Mouzon's storm-like drumming. The band chimes in occasionally, but Tyner sails over it all. "Some Day" is a relief from what has come before. Tyner's melodies can be refreshingly simple and direct, and here he channels a bit of Richard Rodgers' charm, in a tune unusually structured around Jooney Booth's upright bass solo. The entire ensemble stays in the background, and Booth is joined by Sonny Fortune's haunting flute comments.