McCoy Tyner looked towards Africa on his stunning 1970 album Extensions, a far-reaching exploration of Black identity that marked the masterful pianist’s fifth recording for Blue Note Records. After leaving John Coltrane’s band Tyner had moved from Impulse to Blue Note and made his enduring post-bop classic The Real McCoy in 1967. In the following years Tyner steadily expanded his musical scope: writing for a 9-piece ensemble on Tender Moments, exploring the textures of a piano-vibes led quartet with Bobby Hutcherson on Time for Tyner, and pushing at the boundaries of mainstream jazz on Expansions. Extensions is perhaps most notable for being the only recorded collaboration between Tyner and Alice Coltrane who plays harp on three of the album’s four pieces (all composed by Tyner) along with Gary Bartz on alto saxophone, Wayne Shorter on soprano and tenor saxophone, Ron Carter on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums. The expansive opener “Message from the Nile” is the centerpiece of the album with its earthy groove, washes of harp, and journeying improvisations. “The Wanderer” begins in a loping rhythm before transitioning into a galloping swing for the freewheeling solos. Side 2 opens with “Survival Blues,” another extended performance that offers each soloist a wide-open expanse before the album concludes with the impressionistic closing piece “His Blessings.”
Blue Note Tone Poet Series
The Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series was born out of Blue Note President Don Was’ admiration for the exceptional audiophile Blue Note LP reissues presented by Music Matters. Was brought Joe Harley, a.k.a. the “Tone Poet,” on board to curate and supervise a series of reissues from the Blue Note family of labels.
Extreme attention to detail has been paid to getting these right in every conceivable way, from the jacket graphics and printing quality to superior LP mastering (direct from the master tapes) by Kevin Gray to superb 180g audiophile LP pressings by Record Technology Inc. Every aspect of these Tone Poet releases is done to the highest possible standard. It means that you will never find a superior version. This is IT.
This stereo Tone Poet Vinyl Edition was produced by Joe Harley, mastered by Kevin Gray (Cohearent Audio) from the original analog master tapes, pressed on 180g vinyl at Record Technology Inc. (RTI), and packaged in a deluxe tip-on jacket.
A1: Message From The Nile
A2: The Wanderer
B1: Survival Blues
B2: His Blessings