Personnel: McCoy Tyner (piano); McCoy Tyner; Ron Carter (double bass); Tony Ruption Williams , Tony Williams (drums).
Audio Mixer: Stephen Hart .
Liner Note Author: Ed Michel.
Recording information: Denon Colosseum, Tokyo, Japan (07/28/1978).
McCoy Tyner is a powerhouse pianist and this live concert from Tokyo only confirms the mastery of this jazz titan. COUNTERPOINT opens with Tyner's own composition "The Greeting." A modal tour de force, this tune features a scorching solo from Tyner and high-octane drumming from Tony Williams. However, bassist Ron Carter offers great musical contrast. During his solo, he brings the group dynamic noticeably lower, and unlike Tyner and Williams, he focuses on subtle rhythmic motifs.
Duke Ellington's "Prelude to a Kiss" may be the highlight of COUNTERPOINTS. Performed as a piano-and-bass duet, it begins with intimate chords and delicate melodic gestures. However, as the tune develops, Tyner's playing becomes more extroverted and experimental. During his solo, he plays many of his trademark pentatonic licks--machine-gun-like riffs that freely embrace bitonality. Again, in contrast, Carter takes a much less modern approach to this tune. By playing more bebop-oriented lines, he juxtaposes the old with the new. Overall, this album documents the virtuosity and conceptual brilliance of Tyner and his band quite well.